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*Vocabulary Exam #4: 15 minutes
*Discussion Lao Tzu/Machiavelli: Examples
*Group Preparation for discussion of
Philosophy and A Game of Thrones.
*Essay #2 writing tips
*Group Preparation for Cicero
*“He must, therefore, never raise his thought from this
exercise of war, and in peacetime he must train himself
more than in time of war; this can be done in two ways: one
by action, the other by the mind” (38) says Machiavelli.
“Do you recall your history Bran”
“And that’s Torrhen Stark, the King Who Knelt. He was the
last King in the North and the first Lord of Winterfell, after he
yielded to Aegon the Conqueror. Oh, there, he’s Cregan
Stark. He fought with Prince Aemon once, and the
Dragonknight said he’d never faced a finer swordsman.
In teams, discuss your ideas
about applying Lao-Tzu and
Machiavelli to A Game of
You have about 10 minutes!
Make sure you have textual
support for your assertions!
The Night’s Watch
Machiavelli says in his how to
manual, The Qualities of a
Prince, “…every prince must
desire to be considered
merciful and not cruel;
nevertheless, he must take
care not to misuse the mercy.”
Ned doesn’t want to
execute this man but
it is the law and he
must adhere to it.
‘“In the name of Robert of the House
Baratheon, the First of his Name, King of the
Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men,
Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of
the Realm, by the word of Eddard of the
House Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Warden
of the North, I do sentence you to die.’”
Machiavelli says that the prince
must portray a positive image of
himself to the public so he can
avoid being despised and hated.
The prince “must strive to make
everyone recognize his greatness,
spirit, dignity, and strength”(48).
“You are an honest and
honourable man, Lord Eddard.
Ofttimes I forget that. I have
met so few of them in my
We can also apply Lao-tzu’s
philosophies to Eddard. “Peace is
his highest value./ If the peace
has been shattered,/ how can he
be content?/ His enemies are not
demons,/ but humans like
Lao-tzu says, “ his
enemies are not
demons but human
beings like himself.
He does not wish
“Your Grace, the girl is scarcely more
than a child. You are no Tywin
Lannister, to slaughter innocents […]
the murder of children … it would be
vile … unspeakable”. (Martin 430)
In Machiavelli’s “The Qualities of a
prince, ” Machiavelli states that
“a prince must desire to be
merciful and not cruel;
nevertheless, he must take care
not to misuse this mercy”
“Whoever Jon’s mother had been,
Ned must have loved her fiercely,
for nothing Catelyn said would
persuade him to send the boy
away. It was the one thing she
could never forgive him. She had
come to love her husband with all
her heart, but she had never
found it in her to love
In this excerpt from the text Ned is
showing his merciful side by taking in the
bastard Jon, raising him with his own,
feeding him, and housing him even
though this wife, Caitlyn, despises it.
However, Ned is still exercising his
dominance and showing that he isn’t
misusing his mercy by standing up to his
wife and electing to keep the bastard
Jon, rather than sending him off.
“‘Can a man still
be brave if he is
“There is no greater illusion
than fear […] Whoever can
see through all fear will
always be safe” (Jacobus 26).
Through Martin’s writing we only notice the fear in the man that is beheaded.
Bran notices that there is also bravery in the man for accepting the
punishment, therefore Bran saw past the illusion of fear that Lao Tzu
mentioned in his writing.
A great nation is like a great man:
When he makes a mistake, he realizes it.
Having realized it, he admits it.
Having admitted it, he corrects it.
He considers those who point out his faults as his
most benevolent teachers.
He thinks of his enemy
As the shadow that he himself casts. (Jacobus 29)
“ Do you think that [your
brother’s] war is more
important than ours. And Jon
could “only bite his lip.” […]
“Gods save us boy, you’re not
blind and you’re not stupid.
When dead men come hunting
in the night, do you think it
matters who sits the Iron
Throne” (Martin 759)?
Through Mormont, we can see that he is what Lao-Tzu refers to as a “benevolent
teacher,” and he is how Jon sees that his choice to flee was a mistake and that by
making his brother’s war a higher priority than the one that was much closer to him,
he also attributed a lack of importance for the Night’s Watch. From there he is able to
“realize it” and later he admits that he is in the wrong to Mormont.
As Ned Stark once said, “The
only thing His Grace enjoys
more than hunting is making
war on lords who defy him”
“And as far as actions are concerned,
besides keeping his soldiers well
disciplined and trained, he must always
be out hunting, and must accustom his
body to hardships in this manner; and he
must also learn the nature of the terrain,
and know how mountains slope, how
valleys open, how plains lie, and
understand the nature of rivers and
swamps; and he should devote much
attention to such activities” (Jacobus
Machiavelli insists that a prince should
always have his mind fixed on warfare,
and when in peacetime, he should always
be out hunting. By doing so, the prince
will be well versed in the geography of
his land, and should an attack come, he
will know where to place his troops for
maximum strategic advantage.
Machiavelli states that,
“Nevertheless, a prince
must be cautious in
believing and in acting, nor
should he be afraid of his
own shadow, […] too much
trust may not render him
imprudent nor too much
distrust render him
intolerable” (Jacobus 43).
These qualities of a Prince can be
connected to Robert Baratheon’s
decision after he took Ser Barristan in
custody at the Trident River. King
Robert displayed his mercy by sparing
Ser Barristan, who was his [enemy].
“I will not kill a man
for loyalty, nor for
fighting well” (Martin
“ it is evident that when
princes have given more
thought to personal luxuries
than to arms, they have lost
their state.” (38)
“Robert had always been a man of
huge appetites, a man who knew how
to take his pleasure. […] Yet Ned could
not help but notice that those
pleasures were taking a toll on the
“You know as well as I that the
treasury has been empty for years. I
shall have to borrow the money. No
doubt the Lannisters will be
accommodating. We owe Lord Tywin
some three million dragons at
present, what matter another
hundred thousand?” (194).
“And so, if a prince wants to
maintain his reputation for
generosity among men, it is
necessary for him not to neglect
any possible means of lavish
Perhaps if Robert Baratheon had followed this philosophy, he would have better
control and order over the Seven Kingdoms.
Machiavelli’s philosophy of using the nature of
the beast can be applied to Tywin Lannister in
A Game of Thrones.
“a prince must know how to make good use of
the nature of the beast, he should choose
among the beasts the fox and the lion; for the
lion cannot defend itself from traps and the
fox cannot protect itself from wolves” (46).
“Tywin Lannister was as much fox as lion. If
indeed he’d sent Ser Gregor to burn and pillage—
and Ned did not doubt that he had—he’d taken
care to see that he rode under cover of night,
without banners, in the guise of a common
brigand. Should Riverrun strike back, Cersei and
her father would insist that it had been the Tullys
who broke the kings peace, not the Lannisters”
“And if he must take someone’s
life, he should do so when there
is proper justification and
manifest cause” (Jacobus 44).
Prince Joffrey continues to
exhibit behaviors that would
be unfitting for a prince.
‘My mother bids me let Lord
Eddard take the black, and Lady
Sansa has begged mercy for her
father.’ He looked straight at
Sansa then, and smiled, […] ‘But
they have the soft hearts of
women. So long as I am your
king, treason shall never go
unpunished .Ser Ilyn, bring me
his head!’ (Martin 726).
“Well, my legs may be too small for
my body, but my head is too large,
although I prefer to think it is just
large enough for my mind. I have a
realistic grasp of my own strengths
and weaknesses. My mind is my
weapon” (Martin 118).
Bronn on the other hand is a
sellsword, he has no title to his name
neither does he have honor but his
ability with his sword allows him to
take on foes stronger than he was.
According to Catelyn, she “misliked
the man. Courage he had, and
strength, but there was no kindness in
him, and little loyalty” (Martin 354).
their companionship is
“necessary [that one has to]
be a fox in order to
recognize traps and a lion in
order to frighten the
wolves”. (Machiavelli 230)
The mark of a moderate man
is freedom from his own ideas.
Tolerant like the sky,
all-pervading like sunlight,
firm like a mountain,
supple like a tree in the wind,
he has no destination in view
and makes use of anything life happens to bring his
Nothing is impossible for him.
Because he has let go,
he can care for the people’s welfare
as a mother cares for her child.
“I see the face of slaves. I
free you. Take off your
collars. Go if you wish, no
one shall harm you. If you
stay, it will be as brothers
and sisters, husbands and
We see this in Daenerys as she allows
herself to extricate and disentangle
herself from the wounds of her past,
including that which holds her back—the
ubiquitous presence of men.
“I want what I came for’, he told her. ‘I
want the crown he promised me. He
bought you, but he never paid for you. Tell
him I want what I bargained for, or I’m
taking you back. You and the eggs both.
He can keep his bloody (baby). I’ll cut the
bastard out and leave it for him” (Martin
Machiavelli states that a Prince’s only
profession should be war and must not
take on anything “as his profession but
war, its intuitions, and its discipline;
because that is the only profession which
befits one who commands: and it is of
such importance that not only does it
maintain those who were born princes, but
many times it enables men of private
station to rise to that position”
Viserys desires badly to be a man
of war and I believe that him
pulling his sword is his way of
showing he is not afraid of war an
it shows his eagerness to fight.
*Do you agree with Machiavelli’s thesis that
stability and power are the only qualities
that matter in the evaluation of
governments? If not, what else matters?
*Can we have Lao-Tzu’s peace, even though
there is ambition, materialism, war, and
famine on earth? How is it possible?
*Write about literature in the present
*Write in third person (avoid “I” and
*Be specific: Avoid “thing” and words
with “thing” in them: something,
Remember, you need a comma and a coordinating conjunction to
connect two complete sentences:
Machiavelli holds that the skill of war making is what a prince must
*necessarily* make his career on, for war making is the primary means by
which he can advance his state.
Use a comma after an introductory clause:
As the Lord of Winterfell, he carries out the execution of the deserter
himself rather than assigning the dreadful task to one of his subordinates.
Form new teams for this unit. Remember, 50% of
your team must be new to you!
THEN, DISCUSS THE DIVISION OF LABOR FOR CICERO
Questions for Critical Reading (page 129)
We will come back together to go over the homework
before we leave!
• Prepare for Essay Exam #2, an in-class
exam held at our next meeting
• Read A World of Ideas: Marcus Tullius
Cicero "The Defense of Injustice" (119-129)
• Post #21 Questions for Critical Reading:
(page 129) or QHQ Cicero)