Policraticus, By John, Bishop Of Salisbury, And The Prince, By Niccol Machiavelli Essay, Research Paper
Policraticus, by John, Bishop of Salisbury, and The Prince, by Niccol Machiavelli, show distinguishable differences in thinking between the Middle Ages and the period of Renaissance. The two books were written in different eras, and they both talk about the true meaning of prince as a ruler and how he should conduct himself in order to maintain his power. The most significant differences between the two writers result from their differing views regarding religion, political power, and political goals.
The different ideas about religion separate the Renaissance from the Middle Ages. By studying the opinions of the two writers, it is clear that the church played a major role in the lives of those in Middle Ages than in those of the Renaissance. Bishop of Salisbury emphasizes that all power that the prince holds is from God and that He exercised it through a subordinate hand to make all things teach His mercy or justice. In addition, he says that the commandment for the prince is to fear the Lord his God and to follow God s words, which are prescribed in the law. One the other hand, Machiavelli totally ignores the issue of religion and does not even mention it in his writing. He treats religion and government as two separate subjects. He believes that the law is made by the prince and not by God.
Another difference between the two writers is their differing views on the interests of the prince. Bishop of Salisbury believes that the prince s objective is to make his people wealthier and his community prosperous. In contrast, for Machiavelli, the goal of the prince is to maintain his power and to make his people satisfied as long as possible. Machiavelli teaches the prince how to be prudent and sometimes evil in order to survive according to the situation. It is almost impossible to determine what is good or evil, but it is clear that the people s ideas had changed from theoretical to more realistic. At this point it is clear that, as times changed, the people became more interested in individualism more than groups.