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Discussion Questions & Answers

Following are our answers based on the questions provided:

Q.1. Is it possible for someone to be in power if the people do not fear him? Explain your answer.
Ans: No. Someone can’t be in power if the people do not fear them. the fear of the people in power is what keeps bad people in line. Without this fear, there would be anarchy, meaning a state of disorder and chaos. This implies that fear is a necessary factor in maintaining order and control within a society.

Q.2. Is it possible to fear someone without hating him? Explain your answer.
Ans: Yes, it is possible to fear someone without hating them. Fear and hatred are two separate emotions that can exist independently of each other. Fear is a natural response to a perceived threat or danger, while hatred is a strong feeling of dislike or animosity towards someone.
In the example given, the person is scared of sharks because they can harm or kill them, but they do not hate sharks. This shows that fear and hatred do not always go hand in hand. While fear and hatred can coincide in certain situations, it is not a requirement for one to feel both emotions towards someone or something.

Q.3. What ethical dilemmas might a leader face? Explain your answer.
Ans: One ethical dilemma that a leader might face is the decision to kill some individuals for the greater good of all. An example of this is the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the U.S. during World War II. The U.S. decided to bomb these cities to bring the war to a quicker end, but this came at the cost of many innocent lives.
This raises ethical questions about the value of individual lives versus the overall outcome or goal that the leader is trying to achieve. It forces leaders to grapple with the moral implications of their actions and consider the ethical consequences of sacrificing some lives for the benefit of others.

Q.4. Are ethics the same for a leader as they are for you and me? Explain your answer.
Ans: Most individuals have their ethics that come from where and how they were raised so we may have the same ethics although as a leader sometimes they have to make tough decisions that stress those ethics.

Q.5. In what real-life scenarios do you see Machiavelli’s advice playing out, either positively or negatively?
Ans: Machiavelli’s advice can be seen playing out in real-life scenarios involving presidents. The student’s response of seeing them as neutral is a valid interpretation. Machiavelli’s advice often revolves around the idea of maintaining power and achieving success, sometimes at the expense of moral principles. In the context of presidents, this can be seen in their decision-making, strategies, and actions.
Some people may hate certain presidents because they perceive their actions as manipulative or self-serving, aligning with Machiavelli’s advice. On the other hand, some people love certain presidents because they believe their actions are necessary for achieving their goals or protecting the interests of the nation.
Overall, the student’s observation highlights the mixed reactions that presidents often receive, with some viewing their actions through a Machiavellian lens and others appreciating their leadership.

Q.6. Does power corrupt? Use evidence from this text, your own experience, and other art, history, or literature in your answer.
I want to say no because I like to believe if I had power I would do what’s right but history has taught the opposite. So yes I say power corrupts. The saying “You can either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain” shows that most people agree power corrupts. This is the reason America exists in the first place. The kings of England became corrupt and people hated them and left for that.


Assessment Questions & Answers

Following are our answers based on the questions provided:

Q.1. Summarize Machiavelli’s beliefs about what makes a great leader.
Ans: A great leader strives to do what’s best for his nation regardless of whether that makes the people love him. People should fear him, so that they obey him and his laws, but the benefits of those laws should bring them to come to love him on their own. Maintaining order is more important than individual feelings.

Q.2. How does the following line from paragraph 1 contribute to the development of ideas in the passage?: “Therefore a prince, so long as he keeps his subjects united and loyal, ought not to mind the reproach of cruelty; because with a few examples he will be more merciful than those who, through too much mercy, allow disorders to arise, from which follow murders or robberies; for these are wont to injure the whole people, whilst those executions which originate with a prince offend the individual only.”
Ans: It emphasizes his point that sometimes leaders must be cruel to maintain order.

Q.3. PART A: What does the word “upbraided” mean as it is used in paragraph 4?
Ans: reprimanded or criticized

Q.4. PART B: Which phrase from paragraph 4 best supports the answer to Part A?
Ans: “called the corrupter”

Q.5. According to Machiavelli, what is the relationship between fear and hate? Cite evidence.
Ans: According to Machiavelli, the relationship between fear and hate is that leaders should be feared by the people to maintain their power.
Machiavelli argues that a leader should be feared rather than loved, as fear ensures obedience and loyalty. If a leader is feared, people are less likely to challenge or oppose their authority.
However, if a leader is hated, they will not have the support of the people, which can lead to their downfall.
Machiavelli’s belief is based on the idea that maintaining power and control is essential for effective leadership.


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In CommonLit, “EXCERPT FROM THE PRINCE” is one of the students’ favorite articles authored by Niccoló Machiavelli for grade 11 students.


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