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Power Corrupts. Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

2155 words - 9 pages

“Nearly all men can stand adversity but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power”(Abraham Lincoln). Power is the ultimate force in the universe. Power by definition is control, controlling everything would make everything go the way that person wants it to so power is sought. Power is desired by most normal people, people who aspire to be more than themselves, to rise above the common man and do as they please. Power appeals to human nature. There are many different types of power, but the main two are necessary and unnecessary power. Necessary power is that of a natural cause for example, the lion expresses his power over prey to eat; to survive he needs to use his power. Humans, on the other hand, do not need oil to survive yet rape the earth with drills and pumps to make their lives easier. Unnecessary power is evil, unnatural and human; it can change everything and in most cases not for the better. Power to humans has become something used to bend the world to their will for a little comfort or leisure. It’s unclear who the real victim is, does power make a human do bad things or does a human do bad things with power? Both are true, many tragic stories begin with a man trying to gain power with good or bad intentions; either way, it goes downhill. Because of its tragic outcomes, power is a very prominent theme in literature, specifically warning people of the consequences of power. Many authors discuss how power influences people. Throughout every time period, there is some mention of the danger and corruption that comes with power. This topic that comes up again and again is very intriguing. It’s almost as if the lust for power is inborn in humans. Even though these works of fiction try to warn people who pursue power, they do not listen and choose to try and gain it. Although fiction means “imaginary” fictional literature can contain certain truths of human nature. For example, Greek myths held original creative stories that are not true but contain a theme of human nature that is to be learned from the story. Works of fiction throughout history depict how power corrupts by alluding to real events such as the corruption of Rome, The madness of a king and queen, School boys during World War Two, and the spread of socialism in Russia.
In William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, power tempts and corrupts Caesar’s closest friends to betray him and lose themselves in the process. Shakespeare was an English playwright during the renaissance period. Shakespeare wrote several plays throughout his lifetime in unrhymed iambic pentameter including one hundred and seventy four sonnets and thirty seven plays. One of Shakespeare’s most famous plays is Julius Caesar, which is a true story about a roman that because of his enormous power is murdered by his envious friends. Caesar is powerful but he does not abuse his power, he is even offered the crown, absolute power, and denies it. Cassius is an envious man who sees that Caesar is better...

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