One of the key aspects that Machiavelli talks about is fate and how it effects the decisions of a ruler. The following paragraphs will discuss how human affairs are governed by fate, and how fate can be contested. During Machiavelli’s time, it was commonly thought that events were ruled by fate and by God only. Not only that, but men could do nothing to stop or protect themselves from those events. Machiavelli did believe in fate, but he did not believe in the fact the fate controlled all events that occurred to mankind.
If that were so then princes would rule by chance. This is proven when Machiavelli states ” I am not unaware that many have held and hold the opinion that the events are controlled by fortunecause of this, they would conclude that there is no point in sweating over things, but that one should submit to the rulings of chance. ” (Machiavelli, pg. 79) Machiavelli argued that fate controlled one half a person’s life but the other half was governed by the people themselves.
Machiavelli strongly suggests that princes are fortunate when fate and time are in harmony with their procedures, but things fall apart when things begin to change and the princes do not attempt to adapt to the changes. Machiavelli uses Pope Julius II who was always impulsive with his commands and succeeded in obtaining what no other pope obtained. The reason for this is because times and decisions were constantly changing and he adapted those changes to his procedures. Machiavelli quotes “Pope Julius II was impetuous in everything; and he found the time and circumstances so favorable to his way of proceeding that he always met with success. ” (Machiavelli. Pg 81.
) Machiavelli Concludes that fortune is like a women, and to keep her suppressed it is necessary to beat her and fight with her. This is revealed when Machiavelli declares ” that it is better to be impetuous than circumspect; because fortune is a women and if she is to be submissive it is necessary to beat and coerce her. ” (Machiavelli. Pg. 82) Machiavelli has some very convincing points when it comes to fate and how it could be opposed.
I agree with the fact that not all things are caused because of fate or fortune and that people can change the things if they put their minds to it. However, I disagree when Machiavelli states that its better to be impetuous than it is to think calmly about the situation. I strongly believe that if decisions are to be made, they should be made with extreme caution and not in a hasty manner. Especially if a ruler is dealing with politics and issues that would affect a country. Furthermore, I find a major flaw in Machiavelli’s comparison with fate and women. Think of the relationship between a man and a woman as a prince’s relationship with himself and the thrown.
If a man treats a woman with love, care, and is not rash with his decisions then they could end up having a long lasting relationship. However, if a man decides to do something with out calmly thinking about the consequences, like having an affair, then he can loose the relationship. Bibliography: