Machiavelli and Castiglione Comparison Essay by supercalifragilistic

Machiavelli and Castiglione
This paper compares the writings of Renaissance Italians Niccolo Machiavelli in "The Prince" and Baldesar Castiglione in "The Courtier".
# 97779 | 2,145 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2007 | US

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This paper explains that contemporaries Machiavelli and Castiglione, who wrote about the Italian courts in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, still influence today's politics and society. The author points out that Machiavelli's "The Prince" examined the exigencies of politics and political maneuvering as they applied to the rulers of Italy's endlessly warring city-states; whereas, Castiglione, in "The Courtier" investigated the talents required of individuals, who served under the ruling princes and comprised the courts of these small states. The paper relates that Machiavelli's "The Prince" became a byword for intrigue and for "the ends justifying the means" as a cynical version of politics and political control; however, Castiglione emphasized the intellectual and social accomplishments of an individual, which were required to become a successful and productive member of the ruling class.

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Machiavelli, Niccolo. The Prince. Trans. Peter Bondanella and Mark Musa. Ed. Peter Bondanella. Oxford: Oxford University, 1998.
  • Rebhorn, Wayne A. Courtly Performances: Masking and Festivity in Castiglione's Book of the Courtier. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1978.
  • Richards, Jennifer. "Assumed Simplicity and the Critique of Nobility: Or, How Castiglione Read Cicero." Renaissance Quarterly 54.2 (2001): 460>.

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

Machiavelli and Castiglione (2007, August 31) Retrieved May 28, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Machiavelli and Castiglione" 31 August 2007. Web. 28 May. 2020. <>