I am always a little confused when I read about a struggle for power. I have never understood its allure, and why the quest for power seems to always triumph over logic and reason.
I suppose that I have always believed that the people who strive for power are the same people who are completely ignorant of their humanity and mortality. Once you understand what it means to be human, and what it means to live among other humans, you realize that power is often an illusion, and is just as often a paradox.
Take Lear, for instance. As soon as he relinquished his land to his daughters, he was no more than a haggard old man to the people of the kingdom. I would go as far as to say that even when he did control the land, his power was far less than he thought it to be. Power is a fickle mistress, and Lear learned that in a rather unpleasant fashion.
Today, people say that they want to have power so that they can make a difference. The fact that people believe this concerns me. Hoping for a better future, trying to put the right people in charge. “That’s but a trifle here.” People want to have power because they want to have power. Democratic Senators vote against ending the filibuster because they are more concerned with retaining their seat than they are concerned about allowing people to vote. Perhaps that is a segue to another discussion altogether
This constant struggle for dominance bores me. There will always be bad people, there will always be good people, and there will always be people who are lucky enough to have more than others who are better people than they are. Trying to change this is a waste of everyone’s precious time, and by partaking in the struggle, you only succeed in perpetuating the issue you were trying to solve.
3 thoughts on “The Illusion of Power”
I agree with your post, I think if anything Lear has emotional power and contentness early in the story because he thinks that everybody loves him. As soon as he gives his land up, not only is Lear’s physical power gone but his relationships and happiness are gone too. I think this goes to show that Lear was going mad because he did dig his very own grave.
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I agree with your perspective on struggles for power in literature. I also enjoyed how you connected it to present-day. Constant struggles for power do become boring.
I agree with you that the concept of power is kind of like a paradox in the sense that everyone is inherently selfish despite what they say or do. The idea that there needs to be a ‘leader’ in order for change to happen isn’t always true and it could be a reason why change isn’t happening or happening how the people want it to happen.