Power in Play
Isabel Allende, a contemporary writer, stated “what [she] fear[s] most is power with impunity. [She] fear[s] abuse of power and the power to abuse.” (Tales of Passion, IsabelAllende.com) I understand her fear as throughout the plays and articles we have read, there was a pattern of abuse of power with those whom had it. When someone (or an entity) is given unlimited power, is he asked to sign that he will use abuse that power and disregard what’s right? With the help of four plays/essays/articles, I will demonstrate how power is an enemy of justice, and how the authors chose to inform about that injustice. Antigone by Sophocles, Death and the Maiden by Ariel Dorfman, Information for Foreigners by Griselda Gambaro and Ubu and the Truth Commission by Jane Taylor all portray the unfair relationship between those with power and those without. The authors each have their own approach on bringing attention to that delicate subject. Sophocles chooses to let us, the readers, figure it out on our own. Creon is the one with the power and he refuses to have it in jeopardy. He therefore creates unfair rules and threatens his subjects. Sophocles makes it clear that the other characters don’t agree with Creon’s decision and only go along with it because he is the king and they fear him. He goes so far as to kill Creon’s family living him in a state of guilt and helplessness. The most ironic part of this play is that at the beginning Creon stated that “hope of illicit gain will often ruin a man” (Sophocles, 167) and that illicit gain is exactly what ruined him. He was trying so hard to be the almighty he killed a relatively innocent woman to show his power. Sophocles chose to handle this example of cruel punishment through power by showing the readers that when you’re willing to make unjust decision just to stay in power, you might get that power at the cost of the people you love. Ariel Dorfman took a similar approach but added another player to the power...
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