Study Guide

The Discourses Setting & Symbolism

This Study Guide consists of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Discourses.
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Italy

Machiavelli's home country that he thinks has been undermined by decadence. One purpose of The Discourses is to help revive virtuous government in Italian city states.

Rome

The heart of the Roman Republic and its ancient management is a source of examples for managing the Italian city-states of Machiavelli's day.

Principalities

City-states that were the dominant form of political organization in Machiavelli's time.

The Best Form of Government

One purpose of The Discourses is to defend a republican form of government as the best because it combines the features of the three forms of government.

Causes of Cultural and Political Decay

There are many causes of cultural and political decay including wars, natural disasters, famine and conspiracies.

Freedom in a Republic

One of the most valuable features of republican life is that citizens are politically free.

Wars

How and when to fight wars is a major theme...

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This section contains 286 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Discourses Study Guide
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Nonfiction Classics for Students
The Discourses from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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