1.  Granted that Machiavelli’s own historical context is remote, how far does his pattern of contrasts between political ideals and concrete realities apply today?

I believe that Machiavelli’s pattern of political ideas compares very well with the concrete realities of today’s world.  Machiavelli knew what people wanted in a priest even if it was extremely unattainable.  This is very recognizable in today’s world with politics and their ads that they run during election times.  Machiavelli wanted to say whatever good things the people wanted to hear so that they would believe in the prince and believe that their leader was truly good.  This is seen very much so in the political today where leaders will say all the good things about themselves that they can fit into one commercial while completely bashing their opponents.  I think Machiavelli showed that all kinds of campaigning are good as long as people will still side with you.

2.Sister Juana de la Cruz cuts off her hair to force herself to learn more quickly, although she knows that among young women, “the natural adornment of one’s hair is held in such high esteem.’ Finally, she enters the convent (where woman had their heads shorn). What other works have you read that emphasize the importance of a woman’s hair? Why does it seem to have so much symbolic value in such a range of cultures and times?

The first story that comes to mind when taking about power from ones hair comes from bible school way back in the day with the story of Samson.  He was portrayed to be very strong because of his long hair and this gave him power.  When that deceiving woman cut it off, he felt weak and defeated. Another example of this is the story of Rupunzel where hair was portrayed as a item of power,  When her hair was cut off it lost its power to be forever youthful.

3. Bear in mind that the Aztec warrior’s highest duty is to bring home live captives for sacrifice. Give the Song for Admonishing a careful reading and decide–without researching the entire Cantares Mexicanos–what possible meaning might be assigned to the figurative terms “flower’ and “song.’

For the Aztecs, the ultimate honor was when they brought home a POW and were able to sacrifice the captive to their gods.  In this case, I think the song represents the connection for the offering to the gods.  I believe that the flower represents the captives.  The more flowers, the more captives the warriors brought back for sacrifice.

3 thoughts on “Machiavelli

  1. Josh

    Soren, good post. I have the same thoughts about the flower and song as you. I feel that the flower is the POW, and the song is the celebration with the gods.

  2. veyjustin

    The use of the story of Samson from the bible was a good one for question 2. I wish that had come to mind for me.

  3. jwmaring

    After reading to your post, I thought you were right of course. I thought also that political leaders at some point must have studied or have managers working for them who are very astute in the teachings of Machiavelli and other “realist” thinkers of the past and the present. This likely explains why we see so few so called good campaigns where politicians are not negatively portraying the other guy/gal. And as much as everybody says that they don’t like it, they keep on doing it because Machiavelli told them so.

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