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Edmund of King Lear, A Machiavellian Character
Transcript of Edmund of King Lear, A Machiavellian Character
THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS
A Prince must use any means necessary to get his people to like him.
A prince needs to learn to be firm and be so " 'according to necessity.' "
If there is resistance, do not respond with weak submission but rather with an intention to "eliminate them"
If there is resistance, do not respond with weak submission but rather with an intention to "benefit them"
This was said to contrast the errors of ruling in Florence with the wisdom found with the Romans
Act according to the state of the world, not as if you are in a utopia!
The Discourses on Livy
"He asserts that to found or reform a republic, it is necessary to 'be alone.' Any ordering must depend on a single mind; thus Romulus 'deserves excuse' for killing Remus, his brother and partner in the founding of Rome, because it was for the common good."
Remus: Romulus' Twin Brother
Romulus: co-founder (with Remus) of Rome
The End goal of remaining in power and governing properly justifies any Means (violent or not) used to reach that End
Entered Political Service
After the return of the Medici family to Florence, he was tortured for alleged treason.
At this point he started writing and working on his ideas.
He tried to show humility via self public humiliation to regain his office. He ended up dying disappointed and untrusted.
"main source of the convulsion... [is] Edmund" (Bradley 25)
"Edmund... caring for neither sister but aiming at the crown" (Bradley 249)
"He acts in pursuance of a purpose, and, if he has any affections or dislikes, ignores them." (Bradley 250)
"Spoken 'gainst the duke of Cornwall" (Shakespeare 2.1.24)
"In cunning.." (Shakespeare 2.1.28)
"Some blood drawn on [Him] would beget opinion." (Shakespeare 2.1.33)
"Unpossessing bastard..." (Shakespeare 2.1.66)
Neither can be enjoy'd if both remain alive" (Shakespeare 5.2.59)
"[Her] husband being alive...[Edmund] will use his countenance for the battle" (Shakespeare 5.2.61)
- All on same team
"For [His] state stands on [him] to defend, not to debate." (Shakespeare 5.2.69)
"...Great employment will hold bear no question..." (Shakespeare 5.3.38)
Recall from grade 11:
Iago's "Ocular proof" of Desdemona's affair with Cassio
Iago's control over Rodeigo's feelings for Desdemona for his own political agenda
Iago slaying his best friend Roderigo in order to look honourable
Thank You For Listening!