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The Renaissance Case

Essay by   •  March 25, 2013  •  Essay  •  553 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,188 Views

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The Renaissance is defined by a time of rebirth in sciences, literature, and the arts. But, despite the great minds of renaissance thinkers such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelango, and Raphael, Europe struggled within its governmental structure. With the church no longer as head of the government it became comprised of many courts, which ruled over the surrounding lands. The highest authority, who held all control over the courts and delegated power, was the prince. The prince often lacked what it took to be a true ruler to bring success to their lands. Two writers of this period noticed the lack of good leadership, so they created separate guides to what they believed it took to be a successful ruler. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli and The Courtier by Baldassare Castiglione saw the need to share their differentiating views of an ideal ruler to the society of their time.

Ideas on the same topic always seem to differ in views from person to person. This holds true to the ideas of an ideal ruler according to Baldassare Castiglione and Niccolo Machiavelli. There are many distinct differences among the ideas of Castiglione and Machiavelli books on the guide to nobility, royalty, and princes. Castiglione takes more of a dream like or fantasy view on princes. Machiavelli's view is more truthful and realistic. Both authors' views were of great value to the people of the renaissance, however Castiglione's fantasy had a greater audience.

When you read The Prince and The Book of the Courtier, you notice they are both how-to guides for Princes, royalty in general, and nobility. However, there are some very distinct differences in the philosophy of Niccolo Machiavelli and Baldassare Castiglione. Castiglione advices his readers to practice all things with nonchalance, and things will fall in their place. He also put high importance on knowledge, gracefulness, and appearance. Machiavelli agrees with Castiglione on some issues, but on others, they strongly differ.

Knowledge of arms and military is necessary for any Courtier or Prince. The Book of the Courtier advices military might be exercised with vigor often to win a favorable reputation. The prince will only be secure when he can raise his own army to defend against all comers. Machiavelli advises that a Prince should study war, read history, and know his land.

The public

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