Critical Lens Essay

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Victoria Prato Mrs. Jauch World Literature 10R, period 3 17 January 2012 Abuse of Power Power can be a dangerous privilege if it falls into the hands of the wrong person. Abraham Lincoln once said, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” This quote suggests that all mean can persevere through difficult times, but a person is not aware of a man’s true character and intentions until he has the power to exert them. This quote is valid because a character can become ruthless and corrupt when they gain power. This is supported by Creon in Antigone, by Sophocles, and Mark Antony in Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare. In Antigone, by Sophocles, The characterization Creon proves the quote to be true through his irrational decisions and edicts. His abuse of power is shown through Creon by forbidding anyone to give Polyneices an honorable burial and not listening to the prophet Teiresias. When Oedipus, King of Thebes, dies, his throne is left for his two sons Eteocles and Polyneices. When Eteocles refuses to share the throne, the two brothers go to war. Both are killed in the struggle for power. Their uncle, Creon, declares himself King of Thebes. In the eyes of Creon, Eteocles was the ruler of Thebes. Creon believes that anyone who disagrees and goes against the government or the king shall not receive a proper and honorable burial. In Ancient Greece times, only enemies of the state were not given proper burials, and burials were of much importance. Creon abuses his power by going against the divine law and forbidding anyone to bury Polyneices. He becomes corrupt and makes civil laws contradicting family laws. Antigone, his niece and sister of Polyneices, goes against his orders in honor of her late brother. Creon severely punishes her for disobeying him. Creon is very hubris for believing that he is entitled to

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