Explore the Link Between Ambition and Evil in Lord of the Flies and Macbeth

Topics: Macbeth, Nature versus nurture, Three Witches Pages: 3 (978 words) Published: February 26, 2012
In Golding’s’ wartime novel, human nature is put under the microscope by a Misanthropist, dead set on exposing Humanity for what it holds; Innate evil. Evil in what way you ask? In ambition. For in our world, Shakespeare’s, and Golding’s, Ambition truly is the source of all evil. In Macbeth, Shakespeare does well to disguise ambition as the true source of villainy, behind the façade that is Lady Macbeth and the witches. Without ambition, there would never be any action, no good, no evil, would Eve have picked the apple from the garden of Eden, without the ambition to gain further knowledge? The two traits of evil and ambition are well aligned in both pieces of literature, and too in real life, and this essay aims to explore the link they share.

At the beginning of both stories, the main characters are presented in a noble fashion. In Macbeth for instance, the Sergeant recounts the story from the battlefield, with “For brave Macbeth, - well he deserves that name…..with his brandish’d steel…..like valour’s minion carv’d out his passage till he fac’d the slave……and fix’d his head upon our battlements.” . Macbeth takes on a stereotypical view of a hero, ruthlessly carving out the battlefield single handedly, resulting in the victory of Scotland. Similarly in lord of the Flies, Jack is presented with a “holy aura”, with his choir being described with ” Their bodies, from throat to ankle, hidden by black cloaks which bore a long silver cross on the left breast”. Religion is conveyed through the imagery of Christ resulting from the ‘long silver cross’, perhaps representing the past innocence present in the boys before the crash, which notably, left a “scar” on the island.

From the beginning, both Characters hold a substantial amount of power, with Macbeth being the Thane of Glamis, and Jack being the head choirboy. A notable trait shared amongst men with power, is that they always want more power, in a fashion similar to Sharks receiving there first taste of...
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