Power Is Bad Aesop
Absolute power corrupts absolutely.


(permanent link) added: 2012-01-12 11:17:44 sponsor: ThePope edited by: Arivne (last reply: 2013-03-30 08:03:34)

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A Stock Aesop. The moral of the story is that power isn't something that should be sought after, because it changes and corrupts people (not to mention it tends to drive people nuts). A variation of this moral is that power is unnecessary, and that while it's cool to be a Super, in the end, the hero is just a human being like everyone else, and that something superficial like power shouldn't define them. This is also a lesson in humility, since being able to reject power shows a true inner strength in the character.

Examples

Anime & Manga
  • Probably the best example of this trope would be Death Note. The protagonist starts out a very good, decent person, and by the end of the series, has become a Complete Monster, Ax-Crazy psychopath who eliminates anyone in his way. All because he got a book with the ability to kill anyone whose name is written in it, and became obsessed with playing God.
  • In the end of Fullmetal Alchemist, Edward realizes that he doesn't need alchemy, that he was always just an ordinary human playing god, and that it's his friends that gives his life meaning. This plays into the story's main theme of keeping out of God's domain.

Literature
  • The main theme of The Lord of the Rings is, arguably, that power is bad. The enemy is defeated not by brute force, but by the rejection of power (in this case, the One Ring), and victory is achieved not by the powerful warriors venturing off into battle, but by Hobbits, the most humble of creatures in Middle Earth.
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