Literature Rarely Shows Power Being Used Well Essay

602 Words Apr 10th, 2015 3 Pages
Due to the fact that 'well' is a rather nebulous concept, it can be hard to place a judgement upon whether this statement is more often than not correct. Nevertheless, especially in the works of 'Volpone' by Ben Jonson and 'Songs of Innocence and Experience' by William Blake, power is very rarely, if not ever, depicted as being used responsibly and for the good of others. It is, however, almost always seen to be used to the advantage of the person who possesses it. This in itself could be seen as using power 'well', as they have enhanced their own lives; whether or not this is to the detriment of others may not even enter into the question. It is also true that power can come in many forms, and whether or not this comment is consistent …show more content…
This goes some way as to, as one critic pointed out, 'unveil Jonson's misogyny'. Similarly, Blake's poem 'The Sick Rose' displays the sexual power which men expressed over women at the time of writing. The phallic imagery of 'The Invisible Worm' infects the rose, which exists as a conventional symbol of love. Worms, as a being, do little but burrow, symbolising the decaying of the value of love. The fact that the worm is 'invisible' places emphasis upon the secrecy of it's actions, this, in addition to the fact that the rose itself is unaware of the sickness it has been afflicted with, illustrates that womankind as a whole does not realise that they are being undermined and exploited by the male component of society. This depiction of a utilisation of power by men demonstrates that it is used only to serve their selfish interests, no matter the cost to the others around them. Perhaps due to the difference in the time period, the patriarchy had to disguise it's tactics of oppression and subjugation; in Jonson's time, it was acceptable to outwardly deride and ridicule women as a sex, whereas around 180 years later, the maltreatment must be better concealed, more 'invisible'. In any case, the male-dominated values of the time still work their way into every portion of women's lives, as if they are inextricably

Related Documents