The Ideas of Machiavelli, Locke, Shakespeare, Montaigne, and Achebe
Never is it easy for a writer to organize his ideas with those of past writers and have a noticeable effect on the world of his times. This is especially the issue as a writer uses ideas spanning nearly six centuries before him. The thoughts and writings of Niccolo Machiavelli, William Shakespeare, and John Locke, as well as their premises about nature, are what Chinua Achebe very closely parallels.
Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1530), an Italian writer who is seen as an amoral cynic and who is reputedly associated with corrupt governments, wrote "The Prince" in 1513 as an advisory and guide of sorts for Lorenzo the Magnificent di Medici. Machiavellianism, according to the Merriam-Webster's Dictionary is "suggesting the principles of conduct laid down by Machiavelli; specifically: marked by cunning, duplicity, or bad faith." Though that is a narrow and short-sighted description of what Machiavelli really is getting at in "The Prince." His is a voice of reason advancing the idea for the need of a strong central government, especially in Italy at the time of his writing in 1513. The situation of Italy is what really inspired Machiavelli to take the positions he did. Italy was engulfed at that point in history in large-scale blackmail, violence, political conflicts, political instability, fear, invasion, and general political "intrigue." Foreign powers repeatedly won and controlled Italy during this time (Botha Biography 22).…
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