Many will of heard of Iago, the scheming servant in  Shakespeare’s Othello as an archetypal example of a Machiavellian character, but who was Machiavelli, how has his name passed into the language and can his entire philosophy be reduced to the popularly expressed notion that “The ends justify the means?”

Mrs Massey, the Deputy Head and Politics specialist, delivered a fascinating insight into the man and his ideas to the members of the Year 10 Athenaeum. After considering the distinction between power and authority, the students then weighed up the merits for a leader of being feared or loved. The fact that several of the leaders discussed were contemporary clearly shows how Machiavelli’s’  ideas have had an impact well beyond his own age. It may be true of very few texts from the 16th that they are reached for by a modern politician seeking inspiration.