Isolation In Macbeth And Lord Of The Flies

2004 Words9 Pages

Siddharth Nandy
English 10
13 May 2018
Ambition and Isolation in Macbeth and Lord of the Flies
In the words of King Louis XIV of France, “the ministers of kings should learn to moderate their ambition. The higher they elevate themselves above their proper sphere, the greater the danger that they will fall” (“31 Famous Quotes”). The play Macbeth by William Shakespeare details the story of Macbeth, the Thane of Glamis who attempts to dethrone his superior, King Duncan, to become ruler of Scotland himself. Similarly, Jack, from the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding, strives to rule the society of boys on the island by overthrowing chief Ralph. The ambitions that drive both Macbeth and Jack cause a series of conflicts and character …show more content…

Both Macbeth and Jack seek to rise to power over their respective states, and in doing so each pushes away others in pursuit of their own goals. In Macbeth, after learning of his fate via the Weïrd Sisters, Macbeth develops an ambition to seize power in Scotland; he proceeds to remove anyone in his path to the throne, including killing his cousin, King Duncan. However, when Duncan’s eldest son, Malcolm, is proclaimed Duncan’s successor, Macbeth recognizes Malcolm as an obstruction in his pursuit of power, saying, “The Prince of Cumberland! That is a step/On which I must fall down or else o’erleap,/For in my way it lies” (Shakespeare 1.4.55-57). Because Malcolm, not Macbeth, is Duncan’s successor, Macbeth describes Malcolm as a literal obstacle, saying that he will either “fall” over Malcolm or “o’erleap” the problem. …show more content…

For example, in Macbeth, knowing that Banquo’s son, Fleance, will eventually take the throne, Macbeth orders the assassination of Banquo and Fleance: “And with [Banquo]/(To leave no rubs nor botches in the works)/Fleance, his son, who keeps him company,/Whose absence is no less material to me/Than his father’s, must embrace the fate of that dark hour” (Shakespeare 3.1.152-156). Macbeth sends to murder Banquo and his son, both of whom were allies of Macbeth and even friends. Macbeth’s first act as king is to eliminate the threats to his rule; in accordance to the witches’ prophecies, that includes Banquo and Fleance. Macbeth refers to them as “rubs” and “botches in the works,” describing Banquo and Fleance as hindrances in his path to being king. Macbeth’s drive to seize power without any threats to himself leads him to push away Banquo by ordering his death. Similarly, in Lord of the Flies, Piggy dies while opposing Jack’s leadership. While Ralph and Piggy argue with Jack about what is necessary for survival (i.e. hunting and chaos or law and rescue), Roger, acting in accordance with Jack’s desires, pushes a rock on Piggy and kills him (Golding). Like Macbeth and Banquo, Jack saw Piggy and Ralph as direct opposition and thus obstacles to his rule and sought to eliminate it. Throughout the novel, Piggy and Ralph consistently have ideological conflicts with Jack

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