Gilgameshin Macheavelli's Eyes Essay

1207 words - 5 pages

How to become a successful and strong leader? What are essential characteristics that are imperative to become one? These questions were asked many centuries ago, as well as they are asked today. Niccolo Machiavelli wrote one of the most influential treatises on leadership that is still utilized in politics and management today. One of the defining conceptions he explores is locating a balance between being virtuous and righteous and practicing carefully selected deceit and cunning. Gilgamesh’s exhibition of leadership is much more primordial and archetypal, which is the product of different eras, where the notions of power and the state were at opposite ends of a spectrum, as were the structures that organize people. Although Gilgamesh fulfills most of the characteristics of Machiavelli’s definition of a strong leader, who is feared, has power and support of his comrades; he still has to improve his public image, which happens throughout his journey.
Machiavelli in his famous book “The Prince” describes the necessary characteristics for a strong and successful leader. He believes that one of the most important characteristics is to rule in favor of his government and to hold power in his hands. Power is an essential aspect of Machiavelli’s theory, and a leader should do whatever it takes to keep it for the safety of his country because “the ends justifies the means.” To attain and preserve the power, a leader should rather be feared than loved by his people, but it is vital not to be hated. As he states, “anyone compelled to choose will find far greater security in being feared than in being loved.” If a leader is feared, the people are less likely to revolt, and in the end, only a threat of punishment can guarantee obedience. The most important attribute of a good leader is to think first of what is best for his country, which compels him to sacrifice people’s needs in exchange for the good of his country. However, a leader has to be cunning and prudent enough to hide his actions. Therefore, it is crucial for a leader to keep a “good” image in the public’s eyes. Even though Machiavelli thinks that human nature is fickle and only fear can drive people to serve a leader devotedly and give their lives for him, he knew the value of authenticity and relying on his administration. A true leader cannot achieve greatness alone. And of course to rule successfully a leader has to be intelligent. An unintelligent man will never be able to convince a state to follow him and defend him. An intelligent leader rules with confidence and thus does not have to rely on anyone else to make decisions. So, Machiavelli believes that a truly good person cannot become a good leader, but only a merciless, tactical, prudent, virtuous, and unprincipled one can achieve the full power and success.
Within king Gilgamesh we can observe some attributes of Machiavelli’s theory of a good leader. Gilgamesh is the king of Uruk, the largest and most prosperous city at that...

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