The Discourses Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Machiavelli suggest causes corruption?

2. Through what means does Machiavelli suggest that a City can achieve what he considers greatness?

3. What, according to Machiavelli in Book , 1 Section 38, is the fate of irresolute Republics?

4. What support did Machiavelli use for his view of what he considers to be the worst example provided by leaders?

5. What is Machiavelli's explanation for initiating his recommended approach with enemies against an empire?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Machiavelli recommend to a Prince about reform of a city or a province that he has taken?

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

4. Why does Machiavelli advise that a Prince "temporize" a perceived evil in his State?

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

6. What are the two reasons that Machiavelli gives for his opinion that the courts (Faculty of Accusing) are the most necessary and useful authority to guard liberty in a City?

7. Why does Machiavelli disagree with Plutarch's claim that Rome acquired its Empire more by good Fortune than by Virtu?

8. What does Machiavelli claim proves the Romans' love for liberty?

9. Why does Machiavelli challenge Cities to punish citizens with respected reputations when they commit wrong acts?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Machiavelli gives seemingly conflicting advice regarding changing governments in Book 1, Sections 25 and 26. Identify the differences between the two situations over which Machiavelli recommends changes and compare one example each that Machiavelli gives in the two chapters to changes in governments to two world events over the last 70 years.

Essay Topic 2

Niccolo Machiavelli wrote during the Italian Renaissance. Identify two notable events or phenomena from the Italian Renaissance and relate content from "The Discourses" that either might have been a response to or a motivation for them.

Essay Topic 3

Machiavelli advises on dealing with evil challenging a State in Book 1, Sections 33. What does Machiavelli consider evil? Support what you find as his definition with statements from all of "The Discourses". Do you agree with his assessments? Why or why not? In your response give documented support from other political or moral thinkers.

(see the answer keys)

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