I have to write a comparative essay tomorrow based on the novel Lord of the Flies and the play Julius Caesar. Any ideas for general quotes ?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Both works illustrate the power of superstition and effects of fear. In the novel Lord of the Flies, William Golding depicts the power of fear, which is related and used in conjunction with superstition. Initially, the littluns fear the night on the uninhabited tropical island and begin to express their belief in a "beastie." In chapter 2, Piggy interprets a littlun's comments during an assembly by saying,

"He still says he saw the beastie. It came and went away again an' came back and wanted to eat him--" (Golding, 27).

As the novel progresses, the boys develop a genuine fear of the beast and even believe that it resides on the top of the mountain. Jack begins to manipulate the boys' fears of the beast and even develops his own superstitious beliefs regarding the beast. He directs his hunters to leave the severed pig's head for the beast and tells them that it is able to transform its appearance.

William Shakespeare also examines fear and superstition throughout his play Julius Caesar. Similar to how the boys in the Lord of the Flies fear the beast, the senators fear Caesar's ambition. They believe that he will destroy the Republic and rule Rome as a monarch. Senators like Cassius perpetuate hysteria and use fear to manipulate characters like Brutus into conspiring against Caesar. In addition to Shakespeare's exploration of fear, he also incorporates superstition throughout the play. At the beginning of Act One, Scene 2, a soothsayer tells Caesar, "Beware the ides of March" (Shakespeare, 1.2.20). Later on in the play, Calpurnia has vivid nightmares and envisions his statue running with blood. Artemidorus also foresees Caesar's fate and attempts to warn him about not going to the Senate. Unfortunately, Caesar does not follow their instructions and is brutally murdered on the Senate floor.

lynnebh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

What about comparing the gang mentality in each work? In Lord of the Flies, Jack is able to go against Ralph, even though Ralph was chosen as the leader, and get his own group of "hunters" together that eventually turn into savages that wind up killing Simon and Piggy. In Julius Caesar, Cassius and his fellow conspirators are able to convince the other senators, including Brutus (who is Caesar's friend) that Caesar is too ambitious and should be killed before he turns Rome into a dictatorship instead of a democracy. Cassius wants to kill Caesar because he is personally envious of Caesar. Jack is envious of Ralph.

You could explore the themes of good vs evil in both works. As Cassius says, "The fault dear Brutus is not in our stars but in ourselves." This means that the evil is within them, not in the stars or because of the gods. In Lord of the Flies, the Beast is within the boys, it is their inner evil, not a result of society. Another theme is reason vs emotion. You could talk about how Cassius uses reason to convince even Caesar's good friend, Brutus, to join the conspiracy, just as Jack is pretty convincing to get the boys to become hunters and forsake Ralph's leadership. When the boys kill, their emotions are way out of control -- they are in a frenzy. Or, you could compare Jack as a character to Cassius. They are both villains.

Read about the themes of both works here on enotes and you can get some other ideas for comparison.

smflannery eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are numerous similarities between Lord of the Flies and Julius Caesar.  A comparison can be made between the character of Ralph from Lord of the Flies and Marc Antony from Julius Caesar.  Both characters play a major role in the storyline as well as the theme.  They are responsible for pointing out the faults in the other characters to the audience.  In both stories, Ralph and Marc Antony try to do what is best for the other characters of the story.  Unfortunately, the motives change as the story develops and their actions become more self-centered.  A second comparison can be made between the characters of Simon from Lord of the Flies and Julius Caesar from Julius Caesar.  It was through the tragic death of the characters that the breakdown of the moral fibers of the story was revealed.  Both characters were “silent characters” but were responsible for offering crucial information about the other characters.  A final comparison can be made between the imagery found in both novels.  In particular, the graphic depiction of Roger sodomizing the pig in comparison to the heinous murder of Caesar (stabbed 32 times).  It is through the use of imagery that Golding develops the idea of man corrupting the island (theme) and Shakespeare develops the idea of ambition being the corruption of man (theme).  Hopefully this helps. 

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Lord of the Flies

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