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The Prince

The Prince

by Niccolò Machiavelli

Respect and Reputation Theme

Reputation. Normally you want it clean, unmarked, pure as the driven snow. But in The Prince, Machiavelli says fuggedaboutit . Yeah, it's nice to have a good reputation, but it's not worth losing sleep over. On the other hand, don't let your reputation get too bad, because if people hate you, you're done for. So, dealing with your reputation and respect is like a walking a tightrope. Don't go too far in one direction or you'll fall over. It's never easy with Machiavelli, is it?

Questions About Respect and Reputation

  1. Why is reputation so important in The Prince?
  2. According to Machiavelli, what could happen if a ruler gets a bad reputation? How can a ruler get a good reputation?
  3. Does it really matter if a ruler has a bad reputation? What does a ruler never want his people to feel about him?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Machiavelli does not consider reputation especially important. Many other qualities are more important in a ruler.

In The Prince, reputation brings respect and vice versa.

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