The Discourses Test | Final 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 name as the reason that good men cannot accomplish good for his country?

2. What are the two ways that Machiavelli claims that envy can be extinguished?

3. What, according to Machiavelli, did Epaminondas the Theban claim was most necessary and useful for a Captain?

4. What does Machiavelli claim to be the cause of Princes losing inherited power?

5. What often happens to Captains who see a tactical error committed by their enemies?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Machiavelli recommend to Captains as an element of strategy to assure success in capturing a town?

2. Why does Machiavelli consider sustaining an initial thrust of an enemy to be an effective strategy for winning a battle?

3. Why does Machiavelli consider negotiating peace treaties with insurrectionists to be the most harmful method of ending conflicts in a City?

4. What is the advice that Machiavelli gives to Princes who take possessions from another Prince?

5. What does Machiavelli mean when he discusses using "...deceit in the managing of a war..." and why does he consider it a glorious thing?

6. Why does Machiavelli consider defending an army with fortifications useless with the artillery that was new to his day?

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

8. Why would there be much bloodshed in the cases that a Republic moves violently from tyranny to freedom?

9. Why does Machiavelli claim that the Senate and Plebes rose up to take control of Rome from Tarquinius Superbus ?

10. Why does Machiavelli in Section 28 recommend that Citizens be allowed to obtain honors through public means, but prevented from seeking honors through private means?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In Book 3, Sections 31 and 33, Machiavelli examines the type of individual character that contributes to strong Republics and military victory. What is your view on the Machiavelli's principles regarding consistent character through favorable times and bad? On what points do you agree with the character qualities he calls "virtu" and those which he criticizes? What character qualities would you add or replace with what he calls "virtu"? Why would you make such changes?

Essay Topic 2

In Machiavelli's characterization of evil against the state and the benefits of the powers of the Roman Caesars, he provides a perspective that defines his view of government and freedom. What is that view? Does it match what you have been taught regarding both and does Machiavelli and what you have learned up to this point match your personal views on government and freedom? Define the similarities and the differences and use documented support from both the book and your educational experiences to support your position.

Essay Topic 3

At the beginning of Book 2, Machiavelli begins investigating what he considers to be virtuous touches on "virtu" throughout the rest of "The Discourses". Find two characterizations of what Machiavelli considers "virtu" with which you agree and two with which you do not. Explain your positions in each case and give examples of how your choices have been proven through history.

(see the answer keys)

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