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CRRS Friday Workshop: Machiavelli’s The Prince at 500 Lecture – Olga Pugliese

November 15, 2013 at 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

The 2013/2014 Friday Workshop Series:
Commemorating the 500th Anniversary of Machiavelli’s The Prince



Olga Pugliese (Italian Studies, University of Toronto)

“Why We Still Read The Prince: Machiavelli’s Language of the Senses”

 Friday 15 November 2013
3:30-5:00 pm
Please note the room change: Northrop Frye, Room 113

After 500 years since its composition The Prince continues to be Machiavelli’s best known work. In spite of the fact that scholars often maintain that his other writings are more important and more representative of his true ideas, The Prince may still have the greatest impact because of the manner in which it is written. Studies exist on the generally ‘poetic’ and rhetorical nature of his prose. One aspect of his linguistic practice that merits special analysis is the use he makes of sensorial language by means of which this author and politician, who strongly advocated adherence to “la verità effettuale della cosa”, appeals to the senses in the formulation of his ideas. In so doing he draws frequently on the lower range of the five sensorial categories, thereby overturning the generally Neoplatonic hierarchy that dominated much of the culture of the day, and at the same time, expresses himself in a language that is concrete and reflective of a linguistic register which is far removed from the strong classicizing trends evident in the writings of many of his contemporaries. This language of the senses is also connected to the verticality that lies at the basis of much of the imagery Machiavelli uses in the treatise, and it underscores the almost revolutionary, or at least parodic, nature of much of his writing.


For more information, please contact the series organizer, Mauricio Suchowlansky
— mauricio.suchowlansky [at]


November 15, 2013
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
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