The Prince is a treatise that systematically charts the best strategies for successful governing. It unapologetically places realism above idealism, showing would-be kings how to get what they want while appearing to be generous and honourable, and advocates that the means — cruelty, duplicity and horror —justify the ends of secure monarchical rule. But it can also be read as the work of a secret republican subtly undermining the despotism of the ruling Medici family.
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