What are some similarities and differences between Lord of the Flies and Romeo and Juliet?

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are some obvious and glaring differences between Lord of the Flies and Romeo and Juliet

1. There is a distinct lack of romantic love in William Golding's novel although the boys do have romantic notions of their ability to survive without "grown-ups." 

2. In Romeo and Juliet, it is the family feud, the "ancient grudge," and the forbidden love of Romeo and Juliet that leads to their downfall, as predicted in the Prologue. However, in Lord of the Flies, the promising, if basic, efforts to form a democracy ultimately create the power struggle, and the boys' downfall. 

3. Ralph and Jack, the main characters, survive their ordeal whereas Romeo and Juliet, of course, do not. 

4. There is a miscommunication between Romeo and Juliet, who work together to create the perfect plan. For Ralph and Jack, there is always the sense that one of them must get the better of the other. Even from the beginning, there is a battle for leadership. 

The similarities are more subtle. 

1. The similarities in both works stem from them both being almost classic tragedies because the plot revolves around the main characters and their respective deaths or defeats.

Ralph would be the hero who is no longer able to fight the evil force (which is Jack). All his good intentions are overshadowed by his bad decisions. Romeo is a hero, as he also has the best intentions, but makes the ultimate, and worst decision; to end his life when he mistakenly thinks Juliet is dead.  

2. Both works relate to a lack of compromise and, therefore, a struggle for power. In Romeo and Juliet, both families refuse to be undermined by one another, revealing their stubbornness and shortsightedness. In Golding's book, Ralph and Jack continue to drift further apart in their vision of how to survive, with Jack refusing to acknowledge or accept that there is a way to compromise.  

3. The endings both have the potential to lead to happier times, even though it may be doubtful. The Montagues and Capulets begin to repair their relationship and Ralph and Jack are rescued. 

4. Both works reveal the destructive effects of poor communication. 

Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator


1.  Violence--Both works incorporate violence into the storyline and ultimately use that violence as a critique of violence itself.

2.  Absence of Law and Order-- Both works demonstrate to an extent an absence of law and order; even though Romeo and Juliet takes place in 'fair Verona,' the warring houses of the Montagues and Capulets pay no heed to the social structure or laws, fighting and killing each other at will.

3.  Tragedy-- Both Romeo and Juliet and Lord of the Flies have tragic endings.  Sure, in Lord of the Flies, Ralph is rescued, but at what cost?  Simon and Piggy have been brutally murdered, and all the other boys have regressed into blood-thirsty savages.  It is definitely not a happy ending.


1. Setting:  Romeo and Juliet takes place in civilized Verona, and Lord of the Flies occurs on a deserted island.

2. Characters:  Romeo and Juliet has more variety of characters in terms of gender, social status, and age.  In Lord of the Flies, every single character is a young boy.

3.  Format:  Romeo and Juliet is a play, and Lord of theFlies is a novel.

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Lord of the Flies

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