The Discourses Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. How does Machiavelli suggest that a man with power should present himself to a city in turmoil?
(a) "Beauty is power; a smile is its sword."
(b) "...(W)ith as much grace and as honorably as he can, attiring himself with the insignia of his rank which he holds in order to make himself more revered."
(c) "Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness."
(d) "The man of power should present himself with cold ruthlessness and avoid any show of sentimentality."

2. What does Machiavelli claim new sects (religions) do as they rise to prominence?
(a) Cause Citizens to avoid fighting in wars.
(b) Destroy all the signs, including language, of the old sects they come to dominate.
(c) Influence the culture to defy the Prince.
(d) Influence Citizens to be obedient to the Prince.

3. Why does Machiavelli recommend that those who want to reform a city should retain the appearance of the institutions they want to reform?
(a) Because keeping the appearance of those institutions helps to hide the true agenda of the Prince.
(b) Because keeping the appearance of those institutions helps to keep important advisers within the circle of government.
(c) Because keeping the appearance of those institutions assures a smooth transition of power.
(d) Because the general masses are satisfied with appearances and are moved by things as they appear rather than by the way they operate (perception is reality).

4. What was a rival Empire to Rome as Rome began its expansion?
(a) The Egyptians.
(b) The Babylonians.
(c) The Carthaginians.
(d) The Spartans.

5. Through what means does Machiavelli suggest that a City can achieve what he considers greatness?
(a) Through fear and violence.
(b) Through laws and wealth.
(c) Through conquest and deceit.
(d) Through love or force.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Machiavelli identify as an important action for Nobles to take to control the ambitions of Citizens seeking position?

2. What is the main point Machiavelli investigates as he prepares to discuss the affects of strong Princes and weak Princes?

3. How does Machiavelli predict a citizen will conduct himself if he is not punished for his misdeeds because of his reputation for doing good deeds, according to Machiavelli.

4. Considering Machiavelli's praise for the example of how Nobles manipulated the opportunity for Plebes to select their peers for positions of influence, who is the clear intended audience of "The Discourses"?

5. What does Machiavelli believe will come of agreements made by force?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are two remedies that Machiavelli recommends in Book Three, section16 to prevent a City from becoming corrupted by periods of peace and wealth?

2. What does Machiavelli mean when he uses the term "virtu" for a Prince?

3. Why does Machiavelli report that the Roman Senate decided to pay a public stipend to the soldiers in the army?

4. What acts by governing officials does Machiavelli consider "pernicious" or damaging to the authority of the government?

5. What are the reasons that Machiavelli gives for people who leave their home country for another out of necessity?

6. Why should a Prince measure his forces and govern by his decisions based upon them before he enters a war?

7. What does Machiavelli consider to be the purpose of expanding an Empire and why must a Prince be well organized in expanding it properly?

8. Why does Machiavelli devote his longest section of "The Discourses" to discussing conspiracy?

9. What kind of Prince does Machiavelli consider to be weak?

10. From what did Niccolo Machiavelli make the present that he sent to Zanobi Buondelmonti and Cosimo Rucellai?

(see the answer keys)

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