Outstanding professor and theatre theorist, director, playwright and translator, Robert Cohen focuses in his play on Niccolò Machiavelli (1469 - 1527), a famous Italian Reinassance writer and politician. Robert Cohen had first published his play with the title The Prince in 2004. It was performed as such in many theatres in the United States and Hungary. Directed by the author, the revised version was staged in Los Angeles, under the title Machiavelli: The Art of Terror.
Analyzing Machiavelli’s Il Principe, Francesco de Sanctis comments: "Il Principe must give the best impression of himself, as if he doesn’t want to be religious, kind, forgiving person, patron of the arts and of talented people, he at least has to pretend to be one. Also, he must not fear getting caught, because people are naturally credulous and simple minded. Fear is what affects them the most: Il Principe has to seek a way to be feared rather than loved by the people. And, mostly, he has to avoid providing reasons to be hated or despised." Machiaelli agrees with "facts that terrify, but he doesn’t admit those which deserve hatred or despise. Being evil, causing harm out of pure pleasure, out of fanatism, without any particular purpose is hateable".
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