Macbeth Vs. Lord Of The Flies

1261 words - 5 pages

In the play "Macbeth" and the novel Lord of the Flies, the prospect of power and the corruptive nature that it has on man affects his relationship to power. Power is defined as, "the ability or capacity to exercise control; authority." This authority ultimately leads to the unveiling of the characters' true temperament. In Shakespeare's "Macbeth" and William Golding's, Lord of the Flies, Macbeth and Jack are used to portray the distressing truth that power corrupts all those who seek it. In "Macbeth", Macbeth's tragic flaw of ambition, as well as moral weakness and selective perception, are gradually revealed through his steady ascension to power and subsequent descent into madness and paranoia. In Lord of the Flies, Jack's subordinate position creates unrest on the island and leads to a disruption in the balance of power. Power and the lack of it, causes the two men to initiate unjust and autocratic administrations that displace the natural order. Primarily, the essential correlation between the play "Macbeth" and the novel Lord of the Flies is that the aspiration for power corrupts the individuals who decide to pursue it. Early in "Macbeth," the protagonist is greeted by the three witches in the company of Banquo, a fellow thane. At this point in the play, Macbeth is a seen as a valiant leader with Herculean strength and will. The witches salute the arrival of Macbeth with "All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Glamis! Thane of Cawdor! And king hereafter." Macbeth, confused with the barrage of titles later asks, "With such prophetic greeting. Speak, I charge you." (1.3 50-81) Unfortunately, at this point, the witch's disappear. At this point in the play, it is difficult to see the intent of the witch's, but it is clear that their greeting stirs up Macbeth's tragic flaw of ambition and provoke his desire for power. They succeed in their motives, as Macbeth kills his king and assumes the throne, thus fulfilling the witch's prophesies. Therefore, Macbeth's own ambition for power causes him to be manipulated by the witch's into killing his just king, and blinds him from his inevitable and untimely death. This series of events is compatible with the axiom that power corrupts those who seek it. Macbeth is not the only one who becomes corrupted in the quest for power. In Lord of the Flies, the subordinate position to Ralph that Jack is elected to is not enough for him. "Every hand outside the choir except Piggy's was raised [for Ralph] immediately. Then Piggy, too, raised his hand grudgingly into the air" (Golding 22-23). This election was a major blow to Jack's high self esteem. He felt that the "natural order" had betrayed in favor of Ralph. Jack felt it was his duty to lead as he had led the choir boys prior to the island. This is where Jack starts to become corrupted by the lack of power and mad in his quest for it. As the days passed, and Jack became more determined and maniacal in his search for power, Jack slowly lost sight of the...

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