Julius Caesar: The Corruption Of Power Essay
916 Words4 Pages
Brutus, Cassius, Caesar, and the other Senators held the power to do things others could not. With this authority came their ability to use poor judgement. In William Shakespeare’s tragic play Julius Caesar the theme Power Corrupts is arrayed thoroughly. Murder, treason, and ethical/moral corruption were three prevalent themes that proved the overall topic of Power Corrupts.
In Julius Caesar corruption led to dangerous outcomes, such as death. "Et tu, Brute? Then fall Caesar!" (Shakespeare 3.1.77). The last words of noble Caesar could be heard, as Brutus, the last of the conspirators, took a plunge at Caesar with his knife. Caesar laying there on the senate floor, illustrated the murderous intentions of the senators.…show more content…
Power was abused, murder was committed, and corruption had taken place.
There were many forms of corruption caused by power in this play, one of which was treason. If even a single whisper of assassinating someone with a high rank was heard, you were thrown in jail. An example of this would be when Cassius and the other conspirators discussed their plan to kill Caesar and Mark Antony:
Decius, well urged. I think it is not meet,
Mark Antony, so well beloved of Caesar,
Should outlive Caesar: we shall find of him
A shrewd contriver; and you know, his means,
If he improve them, may well stretch so far
As to annoy us all; which to prevent,
Let Antony and Caesar fall together. (Shakespeare 2.1.155-161)
In this situation Cassius had a conversation about killing Mark Antony as well as Caesar. This was a form of Treason. Cassius would never have said such things if he did not have the power to. Being a senator he felt he had the right to decide what was good for Rome. He not only said this for Rome, but for himself as well. If Caesar had become King, he would have been able to get ride of Cassius. This thought did not please Cassius. "Casca, you are the first to that rears your hand" (Shakespeare 3.1.30). This was another point in the story where treason was committed. It took place in the Senate House, as Caesar approached. Cassius and the other senators discussed how Casca would attack Caesar first.
Essay on Abuse of Power in Catch-22
1246 Words5 Pages
The Abuse of Power Exposed in Catch-22
In 1955, Joseph Heller wrote Catch-22. The story takes place on a small island in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Italy. As the story progresses, it follows the actions of a man named Yosarrian and his companions in his squadron. Many of the men begin with high rank and others are promoted throughout the novel. As these men come into power, one of Heller's themes is explicitly shown; as men achieve power, they become compelled to abuse it.
The story begins with Yosarrian in a hospital. He is there "with a pain in his liver that fell just short of being jaundice. The doctors were puzzled by the fact that it wasn't quite jaundice. If it became jaundice they could treat it. If it…show more content…
Which one is the scalpel? Is this one the scalpel?' 'No, the other one is the scalpel. Well, go ahead and cut already if you're going to. Make the incision' " (420). The doctors have no regard for Yosarrian's wishes, they just want to do what ever they want. The problem is that they are able to. As doctors, they are assumed to be trustworthy people, but they abuse that trust and use their position of power to do as they please.
One of the most incompetent men in the outfit is Colonel Cathcart. He is a man who is obsessed with improving his own rank at any cost, including the lives of the men he commands. Throughout the story, Colonel Cathcart tries to think up of schemes that could get his picture in The Saturday Evening Post. " 'Maybe if we say prayers, they'll put my picture in The Saturday Evening Post' " (188). Throughout the novel, Colonel Cathcart also raises the number of missions needed to go home. He does this to make his unit look superior to others. He has no regard for the lives of his men, he only thinks of himself. Men like Colonel Cathcart become corrupt with power and crave more of it. They abuse their high rank to promote themselves. They are willing to sacrifice almost anything to make a small gain in power.
Lieutenant Scheisskopf is one of the most absurd characters in Catch-22. He is obsessed with making his men march