Good synopsis of "The Prince" online?

Is there a decent synopsis of The Prince anywhere online? My friend has to use it for one of her history classes, and is having difficulty understanding it. Neither of us has been very successful in finding anything online. Or is Cliff’s Notes the better choice?

Have you considered trying The Little Prince instead?

You mean that’s not the children’s version of Machiavelli’s classic? :smack:

Sorry, I got nothing.

A summery: Here is some usefull advice on how to be a prince.

It’s so short that there’s no reason to synopsize it.

You mean the book by Machiavelli? I’m not sure how one can have trouble understanding it, as it’s very straightforward – dense translation, maybe? Anyway, there are gobs of scholarly critiques in any library, but if your friend just needs an accurate synopsis, I’m afraid she’ll have to bite the bullet and pick up the Cliff’s Notes.

Of course, any specific questions about the book could be posted here.

Damn, you got me - NOT “The Little Prince”. Okay, try here. The even-shorter version: Be strict but fair.

If you’re looking for a helpful annotated version, I love the Norton Critical Edition to be a good start.

Wow, look at that Frankensentence. I meant “I think the Norton Critical edition would be a good start.”

Try SparkNotes. I don’t know how good this particular entry is, but the Shakespeare guides are pretty good, and have helped many of my friends figure out what’s going on. Just don’t depend too much on the extended meaning sections or whatever they’re called. You’ll always better off drawing the meaning out on your own.

  1. Always kill the king and his family/court after taking over a country
  2. Never use mercenaries

Thank you all very much for your help - it has helped my friend quite a bit. After looking over her translation, it looks like the professor picked a particularly dense and wordy version. Having never read it, I couldn’t help her much.