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A Question of Morality: The Life, Thought, and Influence of Niccolo Machiavelli.
This essay will examine Machiavelli's career and work with respect to the intellectual and political climate in which he lived. An examination of the central issues of his two major works - the means to power in The Prince, and how the end justifies the means in The Discourses - will demonstrate how necessary it is to contextualize Machiavelli's work with respect to the dominant ideas of his day. It will be argued that, when situated in his own era, the political views which appear brutally cynical even to those living in the late twentieth century become understandable and, in their own way, morally admirable. 12 pgs. 17 f/c. 3b.