The MET's superb portrayal of a powerful figure, Princess Amneris, daughter of the King of Egypt, is a vivid illustration of Lord Acton's dictum, "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Yet what is demonstrated by the opera, just as effectively, is the dialectical opposite of Acton's observation. The late H. Richard Niebuhr, Yale Professor of Theology and Ethics, offered this rejoinder, "Powerlessness also corrupts, and absolute powerlessness corrupts absolutely." Aida's father Amonasro, King of Ethiopia, sensing his powerlessness in confrontation with Egypt's power, pleads with his daughter to find out from Radames the route the Egyptian army will take as it invades Ethiopia. Finally Aida acquiesces, out of a sense of loyalty to her country, even though she knows that will betray Radames, whom she loves so deeply. Amonasro's absolute powerlessness had corrupted him absolutely. The tragedy is set in motion, with Radames condemned to die. Aida chooses to join him