Guilt In Jack And Macbeth

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Guilt: Evidence of Humanity
Guilt. Arguably one of the most “human” attributes, the superego is intended to guide and advise. It remains calm and at peace when good deeds are committed, yet becomes angry and agitated the second one does something considered “wrong”. At times, the evils within humans began to surface, attempting to dominate over the good and innocence one is born with. This is when the superego comes in, able to remind one of what is right and what is wrong; thus, guilt serves as an indicator of the presence of humanity. As long as someone regrets the actions they have committed, within them there must still be good. William Golding and William Shakespeare, in their respective works, take different stances on the debate as to
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While Jack shows little to no remorse for his destructive actions, Macbeth is overwhelmed by guilt, due to the influence of his superego. Jack, with the savage within him continuing to grow, kills Piggy. Afterwards, he shows no regret, going as far to say, “See? See? That’s what you’ll get! I meant [to do] that!... I’m chief!” (181). Having just killed one of the boys on the island, Jack shows a disturbing amount of satisfaction. In fact, he relishes the fact that Piggy has died by using it to threaten the others on the island and assert his dominance. The savagery and evil inside of him prevents Jack from feeling any guilt; his innocence has officially been completely lost. On the other hand, Macbeth, after having killed King Duncan, experiences intense guilt, intensified by the realization that his actions have not gone as planned. While speaking to himself, Macbeth expresses regret, musing, “For [Banquo’s sons] the gracious Duncan have I murdered; put rancors in the vessel of my peace” (3.1.69-70). Macbeth, guilt-ridden over killing Duncan, who he describes as a “gracious” king, is experiencing the effects of one’s superego. Despite having allowed his inner evils to takeover, leading to the murder of Duncan, Macbeth still shows the humanity within him when he remembers how kind Duncan was, and expresses regret over having killed such a good man. Although Macbeth’s evils strengthen and fester from the greed he has, ultimately, they were not able to completely destroy his super ego. Therefore, while Golding presents Jack’s lack of conscience as proof that humans are savage inside and inevitably will lose their innocence, Shakespeare argues with his example of Macbeth, that despite the inner evils that can consume humans, in the end they never lose their superego, allowing them to hold their grasp on their

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