From the play, it is evident that the professor is also a domineering and violent person. He uses language to attack the student. HE shows his power and control in a very cruel manner (Ionesco 69). Later on in the lesson, he is also depicted as someone who easily loses his patience. It leads him into homicidal acts.
The other character in the play is the pupil. The pupil is an 18 year old lady who wears a student smock with a white collar. During his first times in the class with the professor, she comes out as a very enthusiastic and hopeful person. She believes that the professor will help her pass the total “doctorate” exams. As the play progresses the pupil shows very absurd lack of common elementary knowledge (Ionesco 50). She does not know the capital city of France let alone the seasons of the year. As the lesson progresses, she surprisingly gets enough courage and equanimity to defy the professor. She does so with minimal success. The final character is the maid. She is a friendly and a loyal servant. She also comes out as considerate and caring person when she warns and advices the professor about his actions. The maid is submissive and this makes him accompany the professor even when he was going to engage in unacceptable acts.
The power struggle in the Lesson by Eugene Ionesco comes out in the form of a satirized to “totalitarianism” in politics, education and language. The author sets it is a way that the professor only has one student at a time. This is itself is a demonstration of the control that the tutor was seeking over his student. He is teaching his student in a manner which is not only stifling but also very controlling. The professor talks nonsense and at the same time expects the student to be able to verbalize what he wants her to say. This theme in the play is meant to show how such practices have detrimental impact in the education settings.