Machiavelli believes that the ends always justify the means, no matter how ruthless, calculating, or immoral those measures are. Although Tony Soprano and Shakespeare's Macbeth are well-known Machiavellian figures, the man whose name originated the phrase, Niccolo Machiavelli, did not follow his own cynical rule book. Instead, when Machiavelli wrote The Prince, his astute guide to power in the 16th century, he was an exiled statesman vying for a position in the Florentine government. It was his goal, as expressed in his works, that a powerful sovereign might restore Florence to its former grandeur.
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