Few writers are so significant that they leave a literal mark on the language, to the degree that their name becomes synonymous with a particular idea or phenomenon. Nicolo Machiavelli, however, was just such a man, and his book The Prince has been central to the study of political thought since its initial publication in 1532. In the English-speaking world, the author is probably best known or recognized through the adjective based on his name: “Machiavellian”, which Webster’s Dictionary defines as “of or relating to Machiavelli” or, more to the point, “suggesting the principles of conduct laid down by Machiavelli; specifically: marked by cunning, duplicity, or bad faith.” In other words, Machiavelli’s very name has come to designate an individual whose political behavior is manipulative, deceitful, deceptive, and/or dishonest. To a certain degree, this notion perfectly embodies Machiavelli’s political advice, yet in some ways this premise misses the point or, at the very least, fails to recognize the moral, literary, and political subtleties of Machiavelli’s Prince. For this response, I want you to navigate some of the subtleties brought to the page by Machiavelli, and to do so I want you to do three things. First, identify a particularly contentious idea from The Prince, a piece of advice that would seem, for lack of a better word, quintessentially “Machiavellian.” Quote it for the Blog and then I’d like you to critique that notion in several specific ways. On one hand, I’d like you to try to examine his logic, to try and understand WHY he offers the controversial piece of advice that he does. To help support and explain this statement, you should try to place his comment(s) within the historical context of his day and age (something that he himself does repeatedly in his book). On the other hand, I’d like to see how Machiavelli’s idea might be applicable to our own political moment. Is his particular suggestion for political behavior a wise one, a good way for a ruler to (justly) navigate the challenging political waters of the twenty-first century? Or would his premise be problematic in some way, shape, or form if taken up by a modern-day politician? The Prince is a very challenging and fascinating book of political advice, and it will be interesting to see what you are all able to do by way of examining that advice both as it relates to his own day and age, and also as an applicable premise for our current political realm.