Machiavels: must they all want to benefit the state?

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Samantha **
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#1
Report 18 years ago
#1
Hi everyone,

I'm writing an essay at the moment on King Lear, titled:

"If we can consider Edmund’s nature as evil, how far can we regard him as a Machiavellian character?"

I am having a little trouble with the second half, as I've encountered two opinions. Most consider Edmund as a Machiavellian character, as he is a "practised liar and a cruel political opportunist". Yet, I've recently found this note on a website:

Among several despicable characters in King Lear, Shakespeare's Edmund is the most villainous. In reality, however, he is not a true Machiavellian. Despite the horrible means used to reach his goal, the Machiavellian prince at least has admirable ends in mind--helping the state survive and the citizens flourish. In contrast, Shakespeare's Edmund has his own selfish interests in mind, not the community's.
So, because Edmund is only concerned with his own political advances, and not for the welfare of the state or its citizens, am I allowed to argue that he does not conform to the true Machiavellian character? What is everybody's opinion?

I am having great difficulty finding information not supporting Edmund as a Machiavel. Does anybody have any goods links, where I could research this a little more?

Thank you!
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nikk
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#2
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#2
(Original post by Samantha **)
Thank you!
No probs
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Unregistered
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#3
Report 18 years ago
#3
(Original post by Samantha **)
Hi everyone,

I'm writing an essay at the moment on King Lear, titled:

"If we can consider Edmund’s nature as evil, how far can we regard him as a Machiavellian character?"

I am having a little trouble with the second half, as I've encountered two opinions. Most consider Edmund as a Machiavellian character, as he is a "practised liar and a cruel political opportunist". Yet, I've recently found this note on a website:



So, because Edmund is only concerned with his own political advances, and not for the welfare of the state or its citizens, am I allowed to argue that he does not conform to the true Machiavellian character? What is everybody's opinion?

I am having great difficulty finding information not supporting Edmund as a Machiavel. Does anybody have any goods links, where I could research this a little more?

Thank you!
nature as evil, ie inherently evil
Machiavel not inherently evil - learned evil, evil as strategy
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fionah
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#4
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#4
what I wrote made no sense sorry. I had edmund down as an example of the malcontent in jacobean/shakespearean drama though if that's and help!!
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#5
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#5
(Original post by fionah)
what I wrote made no sense sorry. I had edmund down as an example of the malcontent in jacobean/shakespearean drama though if that's and help!!
What you said was, inadvertently, correct. Machiavels are only interested in themselves. Shakespeare's Richard III is the most infamous example who says in Henry VI pt3 (still as Duke of Gloucester) "I am, myself, alone".
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Samantha **
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#6
Report 18 years ago
#6
Thank you for all the comments.
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