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Literary Critique Essay

Literary critique is necessary when an author is handing a manuscript for publication. The critique is used to design marketing strategy and determine the target readership for the piece of work. In literature, critique of a book is necessary to determine the historical background of the work. This analysis, gives an insight into what influences a writer to create a piece. Through criticism, the message of writer is passed to readers. Book critique presents a summarized version of the writers work and aim of writing. Book criticism, follows a certain critiquing instrument in order to achieve a masterpiece criticism. This paper aims to use the literary critique instrument to analyze an excerpt of The Prince by Machiavelli. The paper will use the instrument to give a clear analysis of Machiavelli piece of work.

The story is written during the Italian Renaissance period. Machiavelli was born in 1469, attended school to University level. He is reputed as an acute analyzer of institutions and personalities. He served in government in various diplomatic posts and other political assignments. The story is written right after the government he serves is overthrown. Machiavelli is forced into internal exile and later thrown in prison. The republican government overthrow made Machiavelli a victim of change. While in prison, he endures torture and after being released he retires to his farm. At this juncture, Machiavelli turns to literary pursuits; The Prince, is his first piece of literature. The political upheavals of the time influenced his literary work a lot. In The Prince, he seems to pass a political message to the rulers of the time.

As aforementioned, the writer steeps his literary piece in the turbulent political times. His writing is bluntly honest, although, it contradicts with some of his works. The piece of work is composed in a reflective state of mind. He takes a critical view of himself and the world around him. He writes this work as an effort to gain his stature and standing in government. Most of his contemporaries in the overthrown government were quickly reabsorbed back to service, which motivates him to write The Prince, with the hope of presenting it to the ruler of the time. He was not successful in his attempt. The writer uses a very authoritative voice in his work. His critical and cynical view, presents him as an angry man. His imprisonment was based on false accusations, which may act as the reason he is angry.

Personal response:
Reading The Prince, one is impressed by Machiavelli’s use o direct person. He writes with a lot of occurrence of “I”. This allows the reader to feel he is part of the conversation. Reading the book makes one feel he is talking with and not being talked to by the author. The book gives a peek into the powerful mind of an insightful politician. He exhibits a blunt sense of honesty in an astonishing manner. The style of writing, as earlier noted, is quite authoritative, mixed and blended with a conversational tone. One might be repulsed by his view on power. Quite clearly, he refutes the moralistic approach to power and argues that a person with power should command. He clearly does not believe in goodness with power. He holds the view; one should be feared instead of being loved. In a moral society one finds this view to be out of sync and maybe evil.

In conclusion, the book seems to reflect Machiavelli’s political ideology. He gives an overview of how a ruler should use his legitimate power. The work can be viewed as a political satire, because one can get the feeling the views expressed do not reflect the writer’s true political opinion.

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Sep 3, 2011