The 48 Laws of Power
Robert Greene
Contributed by Jack Shields
Chapter 48

Law Forty-Eight: Assume Formlessness


A person needs to be in a situation where he does not have a specific identifiable form and shape. Where a person is more identifiable and visible, he makes himself more vulnerable to the attack by others (Greene 419). A person, therefore, needs to adapt to the changing situations of the time. The situation is, therefore, likely to protect him from an attack by an enemy. A person, therefore, needs to be open to change. The situation is imperative as it prevents an enemy from understanding the individual clearly and, therefore, unable to attack him. An example is when the city-state of Sparta established colonies in the cities around it to settle its growing population. For them to be able to maintain their conquered territories, they had to create a society that was dedicated to the art of war (Greene 420). The art of war would ensure they are stronger than their neighbors and will ensure they remain stable and survive as the conquered territory will be unable to revenge. Boys who were above seven years were taught discipline and fighting skills.

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