Valentino Baldi

On Prince and Desire. Literature and Perspective of the Political Machiavelli

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Keywords: Machiavelli, The Prince, Perspective, People, Variation, Representation

The objective of this essay is to highlight the literary setting of Machiavelli’s The Prince. The essay is focused particularly on chapters III and XXV of The Prince, but it also considers the construction of characters and the representation of desire in Machiavelli’s Mandragola. Thanks to the use of Panofsky’s category of «perspective», the essay demonstrates how Machiavelli’s political discourse is founded on a literary treatment of social and historical circumstances. The close reading of excerpts from The Prince and the Discourses is specifically dedicated to the representation of people («popolo»), as a key in order to work on the concept of variation («variazione») and on the mimetic effort made by Machiavelli to represent it.

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