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. Against whom are conspiracies made?

2. What were placed to the right and the left of every battle line of the Roman army?

3. How did Phillip of Macedonia avoid battles with Fabius Maximus?

4. What finally forced Phillip into battle with Fabius, according to Machiavelli?

5. What does Machiavelli advise to Princes who desire to take something from another Prince?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Machiavelli advise those who seek to change a Republic?

2. What are some of methods that Machiavelli identifies that Citizens use to earn private honors?

3. Why did "Captains of Fortune" favor cavalry over infantry?

4. 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?

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

6. What does Machiavelli believe is the consequence of insulting anyone with words?

7. What are two reasons that Machiavelli claims men have a hard time changing with the times?

8. What are two points that you can take from Book Three, Section 13 to suggest that Machiavelli believes that it is better for a Prince to have a strong army badly captained rather than a bad army strongly captained?

9. Why does Machiavelli consider towns more difficult to conquer after the Citizens have been in rebellion?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

In Book 3, Sections 14, 40, and 48, Machiavelli details the significance of using deception in battle. Compare Machiavelli's appreciation for using deception in battle to how Machiavelli recommends deception in politics to preserve the freedom of the Republic. Do you believe that Machiavelli would share you view of deceptive political practices? Why or why not? Give support for your responses with quotes from "The Discourses".

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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