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The Prince

The Prince


by Niccolò Machiavelli

The Prince Violence Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #7

So get the violence over with as soon as possible; that way there'll be less time for people to taste its bitterness and they'll be less hostile. Favours, on the other hand, should be given out slowly, one by one, so that they can be properly savoured. (8.8)

Seems like violence comes with an expiration date. Ew—who wants sour violence?

Quote #8

They realized they couldn't win anything else with him, because that wasn't what he wanted, but they couldn't fire him either for fear of losing what they had previously won; at which point the only safe thing to do was to kill him. (12.8)

Remind us never to work for the 15th-century Venetians. Machiavelli mentions them to prove how much mercenaries like Carmagnola stink, but that's harsh. Sentences like these make us realize we could never be rulers. We'd probably just exile Carmagnola and twenty years later he'd come back looking for revenge. The Shmoop reign would be short, but gloriously peaceful.

Quote #9

Severus's son, Antoninus, was also a man with some excellent qualities; the people thought him remarkable and the army welcomed him. He was a warlike leader, capable of handling every hardship and contemptuous of fine foods and easy living of any kind. So the army loved him. But his cruelty and ferocity were overwhelming and unspeakable, to the extent that, after endless individual murders, he wiped out much of the population of Rome and all the people of Alexandria. At this point everybody really hated him and even those close to him began to get nervous so that in the end he was killed by a centurion while among his soldiers. (19.17)

Machiavelli has been cheerleading violence for a while now, but it doesn't seem to work out too well for Antoninus. Is this violence pushed to the edge? Is this morally unacceptable or just a stupid move?

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