Power and Ethics

The close relationship of power and ethics can be viewed and expressed by looking as the art of cultures and their depiction of kings and gods. The expressions of the art during these periods of time can also give a glimpse into the state of the world and people exempt from the art commissioned by rulers to hoist themselves into a higher light.

This piece shows a marketplace interaction. The piece depicts a distinct contrast between the customers and the shopkeeper. The shopkeeper appears as a owl creature which stand higher and wiser than the rest. The customers appear very small and decrepit and as different animals. The overall appearance for me conveys a large gap in the social standing. This is a reflection of Gilgamesh before meeting Enkidu. He is the wise, all powerful king of the Uruk and his people bend to his will, wisdom and strength. He takes boys from families to become soldier and brides before their wedding night. Although not specifically stated, my belief is that he views all his subjects as below him and treats them as such. Although painted in 1629, it also has cultural relevance in modern society here in America. The current 'belief' that society is run by the wealthy and powerful is a common theme in politics and media.
This portrait of Benjamin Franklin and his lightning experiments portrays power, wisdom and strength. Benjamin Franklin was known to be a learned and wise man who endlessly thought about new ideas. This compares to Socrates as he was foremost a seeker of the truth and in doing so became what many consider to be wise. Socrates states "And if I tell you that no better thing can happen to a than to converse every day about virtue and the other matters about which you have heard me conversing and examining myself and others, and that an unexamined life is not worth living" (pages 71-72, The Apology). This shows his true commitment to true and virtue and what is the source of his wisdom. This is reflected n this painted as Benjamin Franklin is wise and was always looking for the truth. His pose in the photo appears powerful, wise and ethical as he has children standing behind his assisting him with his great endeavor into knowledge and wisdom.
This painting shows a rainbow with some peasants working underneath. This represents the joy and understanding that occurs after the flood and can signify the relationship of Noah who was a farmer with God. The scenery is vast and green which shows the repopulation of Earth after the flood and God forgiving the nature of mankind. This covenant between the Noah and God is revealed in this painting. "I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.” "I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth." (Genesis 9). The rainbow is the reminder of the covenant between Noah and God with the rainbow representing the God's agreement and the peasant representing Noah. The scenery represents the world being reborn with life after the flood
This painting depicts a woman helping a sick old man. This act of charity would be something that Jesus and John the Baptist would approve of. The man is being comforted by the woman as both men did to many people during their life. As John the Baptist preaches in Luke III, "Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none and anyone who has food should do the same." Jesus also speaks very similar to paraphrase his teaching, invite the poor to your feast. Inviting your friends and you will be repaid but invite the poor and weary and you will not be repaid but you will be blessed. This photo is titled Roman Charity. This can represents the struggle of the Romans in Jerusalem. The law makers and priests wanted Jesus to be killed but many people of Jerusalem followed the teachings of Jesus and helped one another. This contrasts the conception that the Romans were all against Jesus and wanted him punished.
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