“If you want to join my tribe come and see us. Perhaps I’ll let you join. Perhaps not.” A quote by Jack showing his hubristic ways. When one is full of hubris, they have excessive self-pride or self-confidence. I will discuss how four separate characters from four separate texts convey hubris to the reader/audience. From the texts: Ozymandias, by Percy Shelley, Gossip Girl, directed by Cecily von Ziegesar, Macbeth, by William Shakespeare and Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, we can see each main character display extream arrogance.

Hubris is communicated strongly to the reader in the poem Ozymandias written by Percy Shelley. Shelley uses a quotation engraved on a pedestal of Ozymandias stating: ‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’. Hubris is extensive pride or self-confidence and is communicated through Ozymandias’ quote as he is saying he is the ‘king of kings’, saying that HE rules all that rule. We can see from this he was a confident leader, with great belief in himself. His “sneer of cold command” proves to us once again he thinks he is better than anyone else. He was a hubris man. He is calling all others to look on at his ‘mighty’ creations in despair. He is claiming his works are great and deserve to be recognised, again showing he is hubris and holds a great deal of confidence. He looks on over his empire and stands tall behind.

In the text Gossip Girl directed by Cecily von Ziegesar, hubris is communicated strongly to the audience through the character Blair Waldorf. She is the ‘it’ girl of her Upper East Side Manhattan College, and like Ozymandias, believes she rules all. She has her possy that follow her around and things will always have to go her way. She is used to things going her way as she knows how to make it happen. “Once again the world has proven anything you can do, I can do better” is a quote that shows Blair’s personality and her strong sense of hubris. She believes she can do anything better than any other human being and is therefore supreme to her pairs. Just as Ozymandias believes his creations are mighty, Blair believes she can do anything better than anyone else. Blair is pushy, loud-mouthed and speaks her mind. She wants everyone to think the best of her but doesn’t take their opinions or needs into consideration. Both these characters, even though so different to each other, portray to the audience that they are the most important and everything revolves around them. We can sense there arrogance and superiority just by lightly scratching the surface of the text.

In the play, Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare, the character Macbeth portrays a strong sense of hubris. Macbeth is told of his prophecy to be king and his mind is opened up to a whole new world. He will do whatever it takes to become the crowned head; even killing off the rightful leader. Macbeth does, however, recognise his hubris ways. He sees the only motivation he has to become King is his own ambition and greed. Yet he overlooks this in pursuit of the thrown – “I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself and falls on th’ other.” He does not stop there. Through his overwhelming ambition and desire to remain the King, the former King’s two guards are killed along with Banquo, Young Siwar, Lady Macduff and her family and household; all of Macbeth’s doing. As the play starts to unravel and Macbeth’s mindset begins to spiral, he becomes too arrogant to see the pain his wife, Lady Macbeth is going through. His hubris ways have taken over his mind until he can’t see the struggle from his wife which eventually becomes too much to handle as she takes her own life. Just as Blair is the Queen of her high school, Macbeth is the King of Scottland. Both fictitious characters are prepared to take down anyone that threatens or question their leadership, with Macbeth’s methods just more brutal. All three characters, Ozymandias, Blair and Macbeth know that they are top. They show self-confidence and stand tall ready to take on anything and anyone. Because if they believe they are the top, others will too. However, Macbeth is the only character that really lets his self-indulged ways get the very best of him resulting in his brutal murdering.

 Jack, too, from William Golding’s, Lord of the Flies, has hubris ways and holds extensive self-pride. When Jack, the most rightfully natural leader out of all the island boys is not elected to be the leader we are told that “humiliating tears were running from the corner of each eye.” Jack is embarrassed. He expects to be the leader as he holds strong self-pride. For him not to be elected by the other boys is a real punch in the face. He is so confident in himself that he believes he would be the most obvious choice to lead. Jacks ego eventually can’t stand not being the leader of the pack so he spits from the group taking some boys with him so he himself can be chief of his own pack. He knows he is strong in himself but waits for the right time to disperse from his original pack when he has shown the other boys what he is capable of. Both Blair Waldorf and Jack are leaders of a pack of high school children. Both Macbeth and Jack do not start off as the king or chief, but let their ambitions take over to do anything to gain the top spot. And both Ozymandias and Jack both believe they rule all living life present. Ozymandias looks on over his empire and we can see this in every other character with Blairs possy, Macbeth’s county and Jacks klan. Jack and Blair really connect as two different characters from two different pieces of text. Both similar in ages and both leading a group of teenagers or children. They are shown as young leaders and their followers look up to them never questioning their moves. They listen to them and respect them, but most of all they are scared of them.

 

In all four texts:  Ozymandias, by Percy Shelley, Gossip Girl, directed by Cecily von Ziegesar, Macbeth, by William Shakespeare and Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, we can see each main character display extream arrogance. Each and every character will do whatever it takes to be on top and to lead the pack. With no boundaries of money for Blair and no adults holding Jack back, these two characters even take over young children. The four main characters from my chosen text convey excessive pride and self-confidence. They each know or think they are the best and it is now normal for them to be on top, they know no different. So when thrown from their prominent positions, we know each character will get back to the top. The quote “Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair” from Ozymandias, relates to all four characters as they are caught up in their own worlds and believe that they are superior. They think that everything they do, their work, is great, fantastic and should be highly praised because it apparently is right. They are always right. Each character brings out a little bit of hubris in mankind itself; they show us all the extremities our peers would go to get what they want. We all have a little bit of self-confidence in us, some more than others, it’s just how much we are willing to let the world see, and for these four characters, they don’t shield the world from anything.

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  1. Achievement Achievement with Merit Achievement with Excellence
    • Explain significant connection(s) across texts, using supporting evidence.
    • Convincingly explain significant connection(s) across texts, using supporting evidence.
    • Perceptively explain significant connection(s) across texts, using supporting evidence.
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