"The Beast" - English 11 Final Exam Essay.
Throughout time, authors have been using various elements in their writings to symbolize other, deeper figures. In the literary pieces we have come across this year, there have been several bold cases of symbolism. In the Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer uses symbolism to signify the decline of the church. William Golding uses this narrative technique on several different occasions in The Lord of the Flies.
The biggest illustration of symbolism in The Lord of the Flies is in relation to "the beast". The beast is seen as a real object on the island which frightens the boys. In reality, the beast is something internal. The fear of the beast is in soul and mind of the boys, leading them to the natural chaos of a society with no reasoning adults. Throughout the story, William Golding expresses the need for civilized order to maintain the cruel savage beast in us all. Jack's tribe and fear of the beast contribute to the overwhelming belief that savagery, not order, and is needed to survive on the island.
Symbolism was just as vivid in Shakespeare's MacBeth. MacBeth had a tragic flaw which ultimately restricted him from conquering his goal. MacBeth was a tragic hero who fell from a position of honor and respect due to a flaw in his character. Macbeth was once a noble man, but unfortunately chooses to follow the advice and future telling of witches. Macbeth finds himself King, abuses his power and then gets killed. Macbeth goes through four stages until he reaches the end of his life; the first being his original state, his tragic flaw, his downfall and finally his suffering. These four stages help to justify Shakespeare's tragic hero symbolism.
Both Golding's Lord of the Flies and Shakespeare's MacBeth use symbolism to convey their literary messages. "The Beast" and the witches in MacBeth symbolize potential destruction for civilizations. Both Lord of the Flies and Shakespeare's MacBeth have an ultimate goal to expose a character's flaws and express their viewpoint on society.