Power is Abused in Society

Othello by William Shakespeare and Lord of the flies by William Golding are two works of fiction that both effectively demonstrate the impact on the population when power is abused in society. Othello is a respected general in the Venetian army, and his officer Iago is his ambitious comrade. Othello promotes Michael Cassio to the position of lieutenant and Iago becomes very jealous. Later on, in the play, he abuses Othello’s trust to manipulate him in a bid to ruin Othello’s career and relationship. Like Iago, Jack is the antagonist in Lord of the Flies. This novel relates a story about a group of boys who are stranded on an uninhabited island, forced to survive without the guidance of adults until they can be rescued. Jack becomes jealous of Ralph when the boys elect Ralph as their leader and this sparks within him a desire to prove himself and obtain power by any means necessary. In both cases, the antagonist’s inability to let go and move forward after they have been wronged causes irreparable damage to themselves and to others. Both Iago and Jack let their jealousy poison them and that poison forever changes them and results in the destruction of many innocent lives.

First, jealousy can be a powerful drug. Iago is filled with hatred when he was not chosen as Othello’s lieutenant. When he explains his disdain for his general, Iago claims, “‘Tis the curse of service. Preferment goes by letter and affection, And not by old gradation, where each second Stood heir to th’ first. Now, sir, be judge yourself Whether I in any just term am affined To love the Moor” (Shakespeare I.i. 37-42) Iago believes that he earned the position as Othello’s lieutenant and that Cassio is not worthy of the title. Iago is also jealous because he believes that Othello slept with his wife Emilia. Iago says, “ “It is thought abroad that ’twixt my sheets He has done my office I know nor if’t be true, But I, for mere suspicion in that kind, Will do as if for surety” (I.iii. 430-434) It is still in the play when Iago gives into his jealous nature. Like Iago, Jack is envious when Ralph is chosen as chief and that drives him crazy. He becomes obsessed with asserting his leadership in an effort to redeem himself in the other boys’ eyes. “‘I ought to be chief,’ said Jack with a simple arrogance” (Golding 22). Like Iago, Jack believes that he has been overlooked for à job he deserves. Later on, Jack makes à second attempt to assert himself as chief by demanding à new vote and is humiliated when he is defeated à second time by Ralph. At this point, his jealousy is all-consuming so he storms off, resigned that if he cannot be the chief, he would rather be alone.

Seconde, These two characters caused irreparable damage to themselves. In Act,5 Scene 2. It is shown how Iago aggressively grabs Emilia and stabs her. Iago tried to escape but unfortunately, the men go after him. Othello has à sword on him, When the men bring Iago back, Othello lunges towards him and stabs him only to wound him. Later on, Iago is being questioned about his actions before he is arrested. ‘Demand me nothing. What you know, you know. From this time forth I never will speak word.’ (V. ii. 303-304) It is very clear that Iago is being stubborn and is being silent. Like Iago, Jack has caused à lot of damage on the island. At the end of the novel when the boys are rescued by the naval officer. This is undetermined but Jack and the other boys could never reintegrate into society, that is way too much trauma for Jack and the boys. It would be hard for them to live a civilized life again.

Third, Both of these characters caused a lot of damage and destruction to others. In Othello, Iago caused à lot of deaths in the novel. Iago used everyone in the novel to get to Othello, and Roderigo is one of them. Roderigo stabs Cassio but only wounds him. Cassio strikes back and stabs him. Since Roderigo is injured he finds no use to him he decides to finish the job. He kills Roderigo and Cassio screams MURDER! But Roderigo is not the only one, there was his wife Emilia. At the end of the novel, Emilia reveals the truth Iago gets mad so he kills her with his sword. For Desdemona and Othello he didn’t physically cause their deaths but emotionally and mentally did. At first, Othello plans to kill her with poison but Iago suggests that he should strangle her to death. Othello returns to his bedroom and kills Desdemona. It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul. Let me not name it to you, you chaste stars, It is the cause. Yet I’ll not shed her blood, Nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow And smooth as monumental alabaster. Yet she must die, else she’ll betray more men. ( Act 5 Scene 2 Line 1). Othello was at first having doubts because he still has à love for her. After he kills Desdemona, Othello commits suicide. Iago is responsible for all those deaths. Like Iago, Jack is responsible for the deaths of Simon and Piggy. In the novel, Simon dies after talking with the lord of the flies. He tries to explain to the boys that the beast is in them but the boys kill him. Near the end of the novel, Roger pushes à big rock and it hits Piggy and kills him. Even tho Jack did not physically kill Piggy he is still responsible for his death. Jack is the one who set up that type of society. Jack is the one who told his followers to make that type of defense so that Ralph and his group won’t sneak in.

To summarize, these two characters from the novel Lord and the Flies and Othello, Iago and Jack become savage. In both works, Iago and Jack cause à lot of irreparable damage to themselves and others because of jealousy. This is particularly relevant in the world today as jealousy continues to ruin people’s lives. Let us hope that by reading these tales, students will come to understand that it is important to assess people’s motives when they feed your fears and insecurities.

Did you like this example?

Cite this page

Power is abused in society. (2021, May 08). Retrieved August 10, 2022 , from

This paper was written and submitted by a fellow student

Our verified experts write
your 100% original paper on any topic

Check Prices

Having doubts about how to write your paper correctly?

Our editors will help you fix any mistakes and get an A+!

Get started
Leave your email and we will send a sample to you.
Go to my inbox