In William Golding’s novel ‘Lord of the Flies’ and Shakespeare’s play ‘Romeo and Juliet’ masks and disguises are used to serve different purposes.
Both texts use masks and disguise to allow characters to behave in ways that they usually would not or could not. For example, in Lord of the Flies, the boys go from being civilised to becoming savage. This is evident when it says “the mask was a thing on its own, behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame and self consciousness”. The fact that the mask is “a thing on its own” shows that the boys, Jack in particular, feel as if they are not responsible for their actions because of the mask. This is supported by the quote “The mask compelled them.” It also suggests that the boys have become completely different people after wearing the mask. The word “hid” suggests that the boys are also protected from the repercussions of their violent actions because the mask creates anonymity. At the masquerade ball in Romeo and Juliet, people are able to speak openly to each other as their true identities are hidden beneath their masks. This is evident when Capulet says “I have seen the say/ That I have worn a visor, and could tell/ A whispering tale in a fair lady’s ear.” This shows that Capulet was able to charm a lady with his stories with the aid of his mask. The word “whispering” suggests that Capulet’s action was something that had to be done with secrecy and that the mask allowed him to speak openly with the “fair lady”. Romeo, hidden beneath his mask, is also able to charm Juliet. This is shown when Juliet says “My only love sprung from my only hate! / Too early seen unknown, and known too late!” The word “unknown” reinforces the fact that people are anonymous beneath masks and are able to do things they usually wouldn’t. It also shows that Juliet fell in love with Romeo because she did not know his true identity. Also, if Romeo did not wear a mask, he would not have been able to meet Juliet, so the plot would not be...
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