Critical Lens Essay
An author once said, “Greatness lies not in being strong, but in the right using of strength”, and this statement is true. It means that greatness is not about physical strength, but being aware of one’s individual strengths and using them to achieve success. This quote is proven in the books Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare and Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. The authors use characterization and theme to prove that with great power, comes great responsibility. In the play Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare, the author uses characterization to show that Greatness lies not in being strong, but in the right using of strength.
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The main character of this play is Julius Caesar. Caesar was a powerful man in his time. He wants to become the king of Rome and many people did not want that to happen. They thought Caesar was going to a dictator which the people did not want. Caesar was known for his ego. He thought he had all the power in the world and nothing could stop him, which eventually led to his downfall. Although Caesar was all powerful, he did not heed warning of others and got betrayed by his best friend. Caesar ignored all warnings that led to his tragic downfall and his ego was the cause of it.
He was going to use his power for personal reasons which are not what a leader of an empire should do. This is a great example of the quote “Greatness lies not in being strong, but in the right using of strength”. In the book Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes, the quote is proven through the theme of the story. In this book, the main character Charlie is mentally retarded. He wants to be smart so get he can get more friends. An opportunity was offered to him to increase his intelligence. Charlie accepts the offer with excitement and undergoes a surgery.
When he becomes smart, ironically, he losses all his friends and does nothing with his newly obtained intelligence. His IQ easily topped that of a scientist yet he does not help the scientific world in anyway. He ruins a convention that he was attending by stealing the main attracting, an intelligent mouse, and runs away with it. Not only does he not make good of this gift, it is used for the exact opposite purpose. The theme of this story is that one may not always get what he wants. Charlie gets great intelligence and thinks he would make good use of it but instead makes waste of it.
This story greatly portrays the critical lens. In Conclusion, the quote “Greatness lies not in being strong, but in the right using of strength” is true and proven by the books Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare and Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes. The quote means that power does not come from strength alone, but how one utilizes it. Each story demonstrates the truth of the quote by using characterization and theme. Although one may have the strength, if one isn’t responsible with the strength, it would have gone to waste.