Critical Lens with Power Comes Great Responsibility

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Critical Lens
Voltaire wisely said “With power comes great responsibility.” The interpretation of this quote is that one who is in charge over society has to take necessary measures, such as looking out for them. This person in charge has to be conscious and take precautions for others. The consequences of their actions are on a larger scale than oneself. Two works of literature that support this quote are, Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe and the Odyssey written by Homer. The literary device, characterization supports the quote because it proves leadership equals power.

In the play Doctor Faustus, Faustus is given power by Lucifer. Faustus gains limitless power that he desires. One sees how Faustus uses his power for the joy of himself, not caring about the consequences nor the people that surround him. Faustus delights in playing tricks on people. Faustus and Mephastophilis both agree to use their power and play tricks on the pope and while being invisible. This supports the protagonist in Doctor Faustus. At the beginning of the play one sees how Marlowe portrays Faustus as a merit scholar who wants to learn and receive more knowledge; however towards the end he deteriorates. Character development also supports this quote by showing how Faustus was a leader in the beginning by being respected and having intelligence but as an outcome he becomes Lucifer’s servant.

In the Odyssey, the character Telemakhos faces conflict within his society. It is he who is left in charge after his father flees the land. Although the suitors are trying to take control of his father’s kingdom, Telemakhos and his mother are the ones left in charge. Telemakhos is still much too young to rule, but since his father has fled for a while now, he must take on the responsibilities and duties of a leader. He has to take precautions of his society; furthermore, besides being in control of the civilization, he must also take control of his mother’s life. The suitors are trying to...
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