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Shakespeare Coursework Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet DUNCAN, MERCUTIO AND TYBALT; A COMPARISON OF THEIR DEATH SCENES

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Introduction

Shakespeare Coursework Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet DUNCAN, MERCUTIO AND TYBALT; A COMPARISON OF THEIR DEATH SCENES The two plays were written by William Shakespeare but they are both completely different stories. However they have one thing in common, each has a murder scene. The main character in Macbeth is Macbeth who meets some witches who tell him what will happen to him, They say 'Hail Macbeth, Thane of Cawdor' and another witch tells him 'Hail Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter'. This makes Macbeth think as he becomes the Thane of Cawdor which makes it seem like he will become king and the only way is to kill Duncan. Lady Macbeth is the wife of Macbeth and keeps pressing him into killing Duncan, who is the King of Scotland at that time and who likes Macbeth and gives him the title of Thane of Cawdor. The murder scene starts in Act 2 scene 1. Near the end of the scene Macbeth sees a dagger in his mind drawing him towards Duncan's room. Then Lady Macbeth sounds the bell which is a signal that she has drugged the guards and it is safe for Macbeth to kill Duncan. He then goes and kills Duncan off stage. When he returns on stage he has two bloody daggers and is in a distressed state of mind. He tells Lady Macbeth about the killing and she tells him he should have left the daggers there but he can not do it so she does. He then goes to the well and tries to wash his hands of the blood but it will not come off. ...read more.

Middle

Lady Macbeth then tells him to put the daggers back but he cannot bring himself to do it so she does it for him. He then goes to the well and tries to wash the blood off his hands but he imagines that is cannot come off he says, 'Will all great Neptunes's Ocean wash away this blood'. Lady Macbeth then comes back with blood on her hands because of the daggers and tries to wash it off thinking it will be clearing them of the murder she says 'A little water will clear us of this deed'. The gate then knocks and this scares them as they think someone will catch them and they will be killed. The scene then ends with Macbeth saying 'To know my deed, twere best not know myself' which means that he is unhappy on what he did and he wants a new identity because of it. In this scene there is not that much visual action but it is one of the most important scenes due to the partnership of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth which you can tell is strange as Macbeth killed Duncan partly because she said so and she then helps him by putting the daggers back and also says that they were in it together by saying 'My hands are of your colour' Shakespeare uses amazing language and imagery as in their time they did not have special effects so they could not kill people on stage and remove the bodies while still acting. The murder scene in Romeo and Juliet is in Act 3 scene 1. It starts with Benvolio and Mercutio joking around with each other until Tybalt enters with his men. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion I am of the opinion that there are few similarities between the murder scenes in each play. In Macbeth the cold blooded murder of Duncan is anticipated well in advance by the audience. So when it eventually happens there is no surprise. The audience do not actually see the murder as it takes place off stage. Their first knowledge of the murder is Macbeth's blooded hands and his admission of killing Duncan. The audience are left to draw their own conclusion of how the murder was carried out. But they are shocked to see Macbeth come out still holding the daggers and are left wondering how he is going to get away with the murder when he is holding the evidence. Lady Macbeth takes charge to help him cover it up and in turn gets covered in blood herself. A knock occurs on the castle door and they both scurry off stage covered in blood. This leaves the audience wondering if they will get found out. This is not conclusive till later in the play. In contrast in Romeo and Juliet the two murders are a total surprise to the audience as there is no real lead up to them as they happen after Tybalt and Mercuito exchange words with each other which was followed by a fight. Tybalt inflicts a mortal wound on Mercuito and Mercuito leaves the stage with Tybalt. The audience still do not know of the death of Mercuito until Benvolio comes back onto the stage and lets the audience know he is dead. This is a total shock as Mercuito is a very likeable character with no enemies. The audience's response is to want revenge, justice and the death of Tybalt. Romeo eventually carries this out. ...read more.

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