In 1887, the historian and moralist Lord Acton wrote in his letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton:

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Similarly, William Pitt (British Prime Minister from 1766-1778), stated to the House of Lords in 1770 that:

“Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it.”

Against a backdrop of the study of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth and a number of modern films from the superhero genre, our class aims to explore these ideas as they relate to historical and contemporary examples.

By considering and reflecting on a catalogue of leaders and powerful people, past and present, we intend to each ultimately form a conclusion for ourselves on whether or not “power tends to corrupt“.

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