The Lion, the Fox, and the Bat: The Animal Nature of Machiavelli’s The Prince and Batman

  • Daniel V. Goff


The purpose of this chapter is to analyze the significance of Machiavelli’s recommendation that the Prince embody the lion and the fox and compare those findings to Bruce Wayne’s choice to take the bat as his symbol. Taking examples from Machiavelli’s “The Prince” and selected Batman comics the concept of animal nature will be explored. Both Machiavelli and Batman utilize fear as a basis of power, which serves as a useful lens to examine the murder of Remirro de Orco which rendered the people of Romagna “satisfied and stupefied.” Do Batman’s public displays of revenge have a similarly satisfying and stupefying effect? In what ways does the bat combine the fierceness of the lion with the cunning of the fox?

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel V. Goff
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Strategic Initiatives GroupUSMCWashington, D.C.USA
  2. 2.PhD Student, Salve Regina UniversityNewportUSA

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