The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli is an innovative piece of work based on political deception. The context of the book was based on a Republican intention to have Loreno de Medici be undone by making sure that he received advice in order to jeopardize his absolute power and authority. Based in the sixteenth century of Italian politics, Niccolo Machiavelli’s book enables the understanding of advice through issues of residence, behavior modes, the responsible individuals to arm and reality through light. Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels is a satirical account of an adventure by Lemuel Gulliver. As a surgeon, he travels to several islands and encountering people, animals and nature of different sizes and circumstances, philosophies and behaviors. He manages to travel back to his home in England and is able to recover from the experiences that were quite unusual to him before making his mind to begin a new voyage. The present theme of deception in The Prince and Gulliver’s Travels enables understanding of societal conformity as well as human nature through morals.


The role of Machiavelli in the book The Prince shows the true character of keeping the word and deception as depicted by the role of the ruler. Machiavelli acknowledges that princes who keep their word receive praise on the same. The historical experience also points to the fact that success is earned by the princes who deploy cunning, crafty and trickery in the efforts of their operations. The two ways of fighting are through the law and force. In the former, law is attained naturally to men while the latter is to animals. Thus, Machiavelli entrusts that in order for the prince to succeed, learning on the law and force is vital, as the prince requires being half man as well as half beast. In this, deception becomes the easier route since the positional authority and needs are met in equal measure.

In Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, the first encounter of deception is enabled in order to fit the plot development of the story. The seaman on a voyage in his first capacity, we are told that he is a surgeon. Secondly, he becomes the captains of several ships. A realistic framework is built in order for deception to be effective since the matters are maintained in simplest style and manner. It enables a realism effect since the author keeps shifting between the lines of real and unreal circumstances. Jonathan Swift also mentions the normal and abnormal circumstances through back and forth actualization by the main character to achieve deception in a calculated format. Human nature is overlapped within the contexts and through this, deception helps the reader acquire and understand the center of human self-realization.

Machiavelli’s insistence on deception through trickery is profound. In one of his quotes, he pointed out to Borgia. He states that Borgia had recovered the credibility of the French and could not afford to put it to test with them or anyone for the matter. Machiavelli then pointed to his exploits by stating that, after turning to trickery, he became good at distinguishing the individual intentions that Orsini had to make peace with him. The result saw that Paulo Orsini was sent as the mediator. The profound deception and insistence pointed to a growing demand of using the concept for personal gain. In addition, the underlying basis of deception enabled achievement of results without having to be caught. Therefore, deception became a moral political lesson for the authorities in order to maintain the absolute status quo within their jurisdiction.

Interpretation of self-deception in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels is experienced in reference to the houyhnhnms and the yahoos. The former according to Lemuel Gulliver were rational, understanding and masters of the land. The latter were savage creatures almost comparable to beasts of burden in his words. The houyhnhnms represented a moral display of calm and reliable persons within the society as compared to the yahoos, who generally did not make humanity appreciable. Deception is then achieved by Lemeul’s closer ties to the houyhnhnms as compared to the yahoos, despite all the negative aspects. It was a self-depicting and misconstrue of closeness to him as he could easily manipulate them into submitting to his needs and presence. The veiled criticism against treatment of the non-whites comparable to lesser beings was ideally to fool himself and the reader.

One of the basis of deception relied on the duped persons’ gullibility and nature of acceptance. Machiavelli points that Borgia was generous to extreme measures towards Paulo. He reassured him in material possession like horse, gifts, clothes, and money. The extent was prolonged in order for Orsisnis to respond and accept Senigallia invitation. The ploy was to deliver the duped into the hands of the Duke. Borgia then managed to have the leaders killed and the followers become his allies, thereby having laid a solid foundation to his absolute power. By the locals, enjoying success and prosperity he managed to win over the support. In realistic lesson, deception was first enabled through material outpour thereby showing that the duped could not master into the form of the underlying plot. In turn, Borgia managed to achieve his intentions and gain power.

Gullibility of the duped in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels was realized through Lemuel’s characterization. His expectations were based on the belief of moral values in humanity, despite the differential backgrounds of people. He believed in everything he was told since he was honest. Astonishingly, the deadpan nature of his encounters brought forth deception and moral superiority. In Lilliput, he only became aware that he had been imprisoned by men who were not even taller than six inches. The Lilliputians were cruel, petty, and self-serving in nature. Despite Gulliver being superior, Jonathan Swift enables understanding of the moral depiction of honor, kindness, and gratitude as he was deceived and imprisoned. The morality of Gulliver did not allow his retaliation despite the relative ease he possessed as compared to the midget Lilliputians. He helps illustrate the immoral nature of humans through it.

The functionality of the duped in society help achieves and expose the immoral and improper conducts of the duper. In The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli, one of the quotes points to the relevance of the duped. He stated that ever since Borgia wrote, he intended to show that he was working. He managed to enable depiction of his position by ensuring of its prestige and might. He intended to ride in style through the township with friends in hundreds, mounted on horses together with their servants. The duped citizens would then agree that he had been disciplined and dedicated in his workings. The deception form took account of the gullibility of the citizens in believing of his credentials, yet he was not an affable or deserving leader. In this regard, the duped members enhance the particular moral message.

Deception can be used to represent the middle ground as shown in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. The difference between pure reason and animalism was shown by Lemuel Gulliver in his refusal to acknowledge the Yahoos’ character and nature in him as compared to the intended outlay of the houyhnhnms. His pride manifests in him thereby causing him to refuse and accept himself. He tries to become like Houyhnhnms as well as identifying with them. In this, the reader is duped into his self-deception since he belongs to the yahoos. It drives him to madness. When he arrived in London, the decision makes him aware of his self-enabled thoughts. He decides to let his mentality act as guidance to his life after self-realization. As such, the reader has accepted the deception that brings out self-realization of Gulliver, as it is depicted in his struggle to acclimatize.

In The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli, distinction between deception and non-deception displays mixed results from moral points of view. Machiavelli quoted that the followers of a leader would appreciate and admire a leader who kept his word and was indeed honest in comparison to a deceitful one. However, he was quick to acknowledge the success associated with the deceitful leader in comparison to the honest one. He stated that in the times, citation of achievements and successes from deceitful authorities was distinct without them worrying over keeping of their words. In addition, cunning opponents and mechanisms of deception enabled the prosperity and greater achievements than those who maintained levels of honesty. In this, the character of the dupes showed that they were easily deceived by the success and achievements without considerations of the mechanisms put in place by the wrong leaders.

Once the duped realize that they are victims of deception, the sympathy enabled by the readers makes it easy for self-realization of the character. In Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, after Lemuel Gulliver had tried to acclimatize his life to the Yahoos, he decided to be reconciled with them. Earlier one, he had self-deceived himself on being a Houyhnhnm, he was forced by circumstances to return home. He was not content with the vices and proclaimed follies of the latter while indeed the yahoos were guilty of all those traits. Self-realization of the duped, in this case, Gulliver, made peace with the yahoos but had demands concerning their moral placing in the society. He required them to change the vices, inhumane behavior, and cruel nature. He intended on making them change through the moral lesson learnt from his experiences.


The present theme of deception in The Prince and Gulliver’s Travels enables understanding of societal conformity as well as human nature through morals. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli is an innovative piece of work based on political deception as quoted on the character of Borgia towards achievement of absolute power through deception and evil schemes. In Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, Lemuel Gulliver shows the gullible nature of the duped and facilitates the self-realization of human nature based on morals. Deception can be fruitful, in terms of success and prosperity, but should be discouraged based on societal morals and instilling of good behavior.



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