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The Lottery Ticket

- Anton Chekhov
Characters:
-Ivan Dmitritch -Masha

Paper Summary:
The Lottery Ticket, written by Anton Chekhov, is a short story about a middle class couple,whose dreams cannot be fulfilled.But they like to be in the state of dreaming, though reality saddens them. Ivan Dmitritch earns 1200 per year and seems satisfied with his earning in the beginning and was happy to see series 9,499 of the Lottery ticket bought by his wife Marsha in the newspaper, though he initially shows disinterest. But when Marsha asks Ivan to check out the Number 26 he says, "later". Its all about Dream,which very rarely comes true. This, both Ivan Dmitritch and his wife Masha, knows. Thats why when her husband says We have plenty of time to be disappointed she somewhat agrees.He starts visualizing dreams. Ivan starts imagining things that would never happen, his second marriage, relatives asking for money and getting jealous, his wife Masha putting the money in safe and locking it with keys,is his dream too. He thinks this way, because they have never kept their money in safe,as they earn less. But they are trying to be happy with this income and his wife buys tickets to fulfill their hidden wishes and,though Ivan doesnt show his interest in ticket deep down, he too wants to win the prize money of 75,000.And it seems that they pray everyday that some miracle will happen and bring smile in their life. But when in the end, the Lottery number is not 26, all their dream shatters. And so there is sudden change in his thinking, as he comes back to reality. And the truth reveals that he actually wants to die. And he was pretending to be happy.

Its a sad story which shows the difference between reality and dreams. Dreams can come true only by "hard work", as it gives us true happiness we deserve.Hard earned money of 1200 is "precious", than winning prize money of 75,000 which may give us "happiness" but not "satisfaction".

The Necklace
-Guy de Maupassant
Characters:
-Mathilde: Pretty young woman born into a common, middle-class family. She yearns for the wealth, privileges, and fashions of highborn young ladies. -Monsieur Loisel: Government clerk whom Mathilde marries. -Madame Jeanne Forestier: Friend of Mathilde. She allows Mathilde to borrow a necklace to wear to a gala social event. -Housemaid: Girl from Brittany who does the Loisels' housework. Her presence reminds Mathilde of her own status as a commoner. -Jeweler: Dealer who provides a replacement necklace. -Monsieur and Madame Georges Rampouneau: Minister of Education and his wife, who invite the Loisels to a party.

Paper Summary: At the beginning of the story, we meet Mathilde Loisel, a middle-class girl who desperately wishes she were wealthy. She's got looks and charm, but had the bad luck to be born into a family of clerks, who marry her to another clerk (M. Loisel) in the Department of Education. Mathilde is so convinced she's meantto be rich that she detests her real life and spends all day dreaming and despairing about the fabulous life she's not having. She envisions footmen, feasts, fancy furniture, and strings of rich young men to seduce. One day M. Loisel comes home with an invitation to a fancy ball thrown by his boss, the Minister of Education. M. Loisel has gone to a lot of trouble to get the invitation, but Mathilde's first reaction is to throw a fit. She doesn't have anything nice to wear, and can't possibly go! How dare her husband be so insensitive? M. Loisel doesn't know what to do, and offers to buy his wife a dress, so long as it's not too expensive. Mathilde asks for 400 francs, and he agrees. It's not too long before Mathilde throws another fit, though, this time because she has no jewels. So

M. Loisel suggests she go see her friend Mme. Forestier, a rich woman who can probably lend her something. Mathilde goes to see Mme. Forestier, and she is in luck. Mathilde is able to borrow a gorgeous diamond necklace. With the necklace, she's sure to be a stunner. The night of the ball arrives, and Mathilde has the time of her life. Everyone loves her (i.e., lusts after her) and she is absolutely thrilled. She and her husband (who falls asleep off in a corner) don't leave until 4am. Mathilde suddenly dashes outside to avoid being seen in her shabby coat. She and her husband catch a cab and head home. But once back at home, Mathilde makes a horrifying discovery: the diamond necklace is gone. M. Loisel spends all of the next day, and even the next week, searching the city for the necklace, but finds nothing. It's gone. So he and Mathilde decide they have no choice but to buy Mme. Forestier a new necklace. They visit one jewelry store after another until at last they find a necklace that looks just the same as the one they lost. Unfortunately, it's 36 thousand francs, which is exactly twice the amount of all the money M. Loisel has to his name. So M. Loisel goes massively into debt and buys the necklace, and Mathilde returns it to Mme. Forestier, who doesn't notice the substitution. Buying the necklace catapults the Loisels into poverty for the next ten years. That's right, ten years. They lose their house, their maid, their comfortable lifestyle, and on top of it all Mathilde loses her good looks. After ten years, all the debts are finally paid, and Mathilde is out for a jaunt on the Champs Elyses. There she comes across Mme. Forestier, rich and beautiful as ever. Now that all the debts are paid off, Mathilde decides she wants to finally tell Mme. Forestier the sad story of the necklace and her ten years of poverty, and she does. At that point, Mme. Forestier, aghast, reveals to Mathilde that the necklace she lost was just a fake. It was worth only five hundred francs.

The Cask of Amontillado


- Edgar Allan Poe
Characters:
-Montresor- a deranged man who seeks revenge. -Fortunato-a haughty wine connoisseur against whom Montresor seeks revenge.

Paper Summary:
.It is dusk on a day during the annual carnival celebration in an Italian city. People are eating, drinking, and making merry before the beginning of the 40-day Lenten season. .......But one of the citys residents, Montresor, is not at all merry. Some time ago, a man named Fortunatoa wine connoisseurwronged Montresor. In fact, according to Montresor, who is the narrator of the story, Fortunato had committed numerous offenses against himthe last one an intolerable insult. Montresor now plans revenge against Fortunato. A man can stand only so much. .......When he encounters Fortunato on the street, Montresor does not let on that he is angry or means harm to Fortunato, who, in keeping with the carnival festivities, is tipsy. Fortunato is wearing a court jesters motley outfit and a cone-shaped hat topped with a bell that sometimes rings when he moves his head. After Montresor greets Fortunato and shakes his hand, he tells Fortunato that he recently came into possession of a pipe (126 gallons) of Amontillado, a prized amber dry wine from Spain. However, Montresor says, he is not sure whether the wine is the genuine article. Proud Fortunato, eager to demonstrate his knowledge of wine, immediately agrees to take up the challenge of determining whether the Amontillado is the real thing. .......After they arrive at Montresors palazzo (a sumptuous private residence), they descend into the cold, damp vaults where the wine is kept. The vaults are part of a network of catacombs containing the bones of long-dead members of the Montresor family. Several times, Montresor pretends to be concerned about the health of Fortunato, who has a cough, and suggests that they turn back. But Fortunato says, The cough is a mere nothing; it will not kill me. .......Truetrue, Montresor answers without outward show of the inner glee he must have been feeling.

.......Montresor takes a bottle of Mdoc from a shelf, opens it, and gives Fortunato a quaff against the cold. He toasts Fortunato, saying, To your long life. Moments later, Montresor presents Fortunato a flagon of De Grve (an interesting name for a deadly occasion). Fortunato empties it. His mind now swims in groggy joy. .......When they arrive at a wall at the end of their subterranean journey, Montresor quickly claps his drunken companion in chains attached to iron staples in the wall, then turns the key of a padlock attached to the chains. The Amontillado! Fortunato says, failing to comprehend his predicament. .......With stone and mortar that had been ensconced nearby, Montresor walls up Fortunato. There are screams from the niche, then laughter. Fortunato thinks he is the victim of a joke. Montresor continues to work on the vertical tomb. When he completes his task, he hears the jingling of bells on Fortunato's cap. Then Montresor erects a rampart of bones against the wall. .......Fifty years pass. .......Fortunato remains behind the wall, resting in eternal peace.

The Masque of the Red Death


-EDGAR ALLAN POE
Characters:
-Prince Prospero: Selfish, wealthy ruler who withdraws to a castle-like abbey to avoid an epidemic of a deadly disease. -Knights and Ladies: Members of the court whom the prince has invited to the abbey. There are one thousands of them in all. -Entertainers, Musicians, Dancers: They amuse the prince and his guests. -Uninvited Masquerader: Intruder dressed like the corpse of a victim of the red death.

Paper Summary:
.A terrifying disease called the Red Death ravages the dominion of Prince Prospero. So lethal is

it that it kills within a half-hour after the onset of its symptoms: sharp pain, dizziness, and bleeding from the pores. .......However, the prince is safe and happy in an abbey to which he has withdrawn with a thousand knights and ladies selected from his court. The abbey, which resembles a great castle, is surrounded by a sturdy wall. Its iron gate has been welded shut, making it impossible for anyone to enter or leave. .......Inside, the prince has stocked food and drink aplenty and maintains companies of musicians, dancers, and clowns for entertainment.

After about six months, while the disease was taking its toll outside, the prince held a masked ball in a maze-like suite of seven rooms specially decorated according to a theme color. One room was blue; the second, purple; the third, green; the fourth, orange; the fifth, white; and the sixth, violet. A stained-glass window in the wall between each of these rooms and the outside corridor matched the color of the room. The seventh room was hung with tapestries of black velvet. However, here the stained-glass between the room and the corridor was scarlet instead of black. .......There were no candles to light any of the rooms. Rather, illumination was provided by a brazier of fire set on a tripod in the corridor outside each of the stained-glass windows. Thus, shimmering blue light, mimicking the movement of the leaping flames, illuminated the first room, shimmering purple light illuminated the second room, and so on. Into the seventh room, the black one with the scarlet window, the fire projected blood-red light that was ghastly to behold. The masqueraders were reluctant to enter this room. Adding to the foreboding atmosphere of the room was an ebony pendulum clock that tolled the hour with a deep chime that echoed through the winding hallways and unnerved all the guests. .......Nevertheless, the party is a smashing success overall, with the guestsoutfitted in every manner of odd, alluring, and grotesque costumesenjoying themselves immensely. But no one enters the seventh room. Instead, everyone congregates in the other rooms. .......After the ebony clock strikes twelve, the revelers in the blue room, where the prince is mingling with his friends, notice a new masquerader among them. They express surprise, utter whispers, and finally recoil in terror and disgust. And no wonder. This masquerader, tall in and thin, is outfitted as a corpse in a grave. His mask is as stiff and fearsome as a dead mans face. Daubs of red on his costume make it clear that he has come in the guise of the Red Death. Prince Prospero reacts with a shudder signifying fear or disgust. Then he becomes angry. He asks, Who dares insult us with this blasphemous mockery? .......Prospero orders the unmasking of the intruder and declares that he will be hanged in the morning from the fortresss battlements. But no one undertakes the task. The intruder then moves from room to room. Prospero withdraws a dagger and chases him. In the black room, the intruder turns and faces Prospero. There is a cry. The dagger falls to the sable carpet. Then Prospero falls. Finding courage, Prosperos friends then attack the intruder. To their horror, they discover that there is nothing inside the costume or behind the mask. .......Poe ends the story by revealing the identity of the intruder:

And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death. He had come like a thief in the night. And one by one dropped the revellers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall. And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay. And the flames of the tripods expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.

BRUTUS Be patient till the last. Romans, countrymen, and lovers! hear me for my cause, and be silent, that you may hear: believe me for mine honour, and have respect to mine honour, that you may believe: censure me in your wisdom, and awake your senses, that you may the better judge. If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Caesar's, to him I say, that Brutus' love to Caesar was no less than his. If then that friend demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer: --Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more. Had you rather Caesar were living and die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live all free men? As Caesar loved me, I weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was valiant, I honour him: but, as he was ambitious, I slew him. There is tears for his love; joy for his fortune; honour for his valour; and death for his ambition. Who is here so base that would be a bondman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so rude that would not be a Roman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so

vile that will not love his country? If any, speak; for him have I offended. I pause for a reply.

All None, Brutus, none.

BRUTUS Then none have I offended. I have done no more to Caesar than you shall do to Brutus. The question of his death is enrolled in the Capitol; his glory not extenuated, wherein he was worthy, nor his offences enforced, for which he suffered death.

Enter ANTONY and others, with CAESAR's body

Here comes his body, mourned by Mark Antony: who, though he had no hand in his death, shall receive the benefit of his dying, a place in the commonwealth; as which of you shall not? With this I depart,--that, as I slew my best lover for the good of Rome, I have the same dagger for myself, when it shall please my country to need my death.

All Live, Brutus! live, live!

First Citizen Bring him with triumph home unto his house.

Second Citizen Give him a statue with his ancestors.

Third Citizen Let him be Caesar.

Fourth Citizen Caesar's better parts Shall be crown'd in Brutus.

First Citizen

We'll bring him to his house With shouts and clamours.

BRUTUS My countrymen,--

Second Citizen Peace, silence! Brutus speaks.

First Citizen Peace, ho!

BRUTUS Good countrymen, let me depart alone, And, for my sake, stay here with Antony: Do grace to Caesar's corpse, and grace his speech Tending to Caesar's glories; which Mark Antony, By our permission, is allow'd to make. I do entreat you, not a man depart, Save I alone, till Antony have spoke.

The merchant of Venice William Shakespeare

Characters
Shylock - A Jewish moneylender in Venice. Angered by his mistreatment at the hands of Venices Christians, particularly Antonio, Shylock schemes to eke out his revenge by ruthlessly demanding as payment a pound of Antonios flesh. Although seen by the rest of the plays characters as an inhuman monster, Shylock at times diverges from stereotype and reveals himself to be quite human. These contradictions, and his eloquent expressions of hatred, have earned Shylock a place as one of Shakespeares most memorable characters. Portia - A wealthy heiress from Belmont. Portias beauty is matched only by her intelligence. Bound by a clause in her fathers will that forces her to marry whichever suitor chooses correctly among three caskets, Portia is nonetheless able to marry her true love, Bassanio. Far and away the most clever of the plays characters, it is Portia, in the disguise of a young law clerk, who saves Antonio from Shylocks knife. Antonio - The merchant whose love for his friend Bassanio prompts him to sign Shylocks contract and almost lose his life. Antonio is something of a mercurial figure, often inexplicably melancholy and, as Shylock points out,

possessed of an incorrigible dislike of Jews. Nonetheless, Antonio is beloved of his friends and proves merciful to Shylock, albeit with conditions. Bassanio - A gentleman of Venice, and a kinsman and dear friend to Antonio. Bassanios love for the wealthy Portia leads him to borrow money from Shylock with Antonio as his guarantor. An ineffectual businessman, Bassanio proves himself a worthy suitor, correctly identifying the casket that contains Portias portrait. Gratiano - A friend of Bassanios who accompanies him to Belmont. A coarse and garrulous young man, Gratiano is Shylocks most vocal and insulting critic during the trial. While Bassanio courts Portia, Gratiano falls in love with and eventually weds Portias lady-in-waiting, Nerissa. Jessica - Although she is Shylocks daughter, Jessica hates life in her fathers house, and elopes with the young Christian gentleman, Lorenzo. The fate of her soul is often in doubt: the plays characters wonder if her marriage can overcome the fact that she was born a Jew, and we wonder if her sale of a ring given to her father by her mother is excessively callous. Lorenzo - A friend of Bassanio and Antonio, Lorenzo is in love with Shylocks daughter, Jessica. He schemes to help Jessica escape from her fathers house, and he eventually elopes with her to Belmont. Nerissa - Portias lady-in-waiting and confidante. She marries Gratiano and escorts Portia on Portias trip to Venice by disguising herself as her law clerk. Launcelot Gobbo - Bassanios servant. A comical, clownish figure who is especially adept at making puns, Launcelot leaves Shylocks service in order to work for Bassanio. The prince of Morocco - A Moorish prince who seeks Portias hand in marriage. The prince of Morocco asks Portia to ignore his dark countenance and seeks to win her by picking one of the three caskets. Certain that the caskets reflect Portias beauty and stature, the prince of Morocco picks the gold chest, which proves to be incorrect. The prince of Arragon - An arrogant Spanish nobleman who also attempts to win Portias hand by picking a casket. Like the prince of Morocco, however, the prince of Arragon chooses unwisely. He picks the silver casket, which gives him a message calling him an idiot instead of Portias hand. Salarino - A Venetian gentleman, and friend to Antonio, Bassanio, and Lorenzo. Salarino escorts the newlyweds Jessica and Lorenzo to Belmont, and returns with Bassanio and Gratiano for Antonios trial. He is often almost indistinguishable from his companion Solanio. Solanio - A Venetian gentleman, and frequent counterpart to Salarino. The duke of Venice - The ruler of Venice, who presides over Antonios trial. Although a powerful man, the dukes state is built on respect for the law, and he is unable to help Antonio. Old Gobbo - Launcelots father, also a servant in Venice. Tubal - A Jew in Venice, and one of Shylocks friends. Doctor Bellario - A wealthy Paduan lawyer and Portias cousin. Doctor Bellario never appears in the play, but he gives Portias servant the letters of introduction needed for her to make her appearance in court. Balthasar - Portias servant, whom she dispatches to get the appropriate materials from Doctor Bellario.

Paper Summary
A young Venetian, Bassanio, needs a loan of three thousand ducats so that he can woo Portia, a wealthy Venetian heiress. He approaches his friend Antonio, a merchant. Antonio is short of money because all his wealth is invested in his fleet, which is currently at sea. He goes to a Jewish moneylender, Shylock, who hates Antonio because of Antonio's anti-semitic behaviour towards him. Shylock nevertheless agrees to make the short-term loan, but, in a moment of dark humour, he makes a condition - the loan must be repaid in three months or Shylock will exact a pound of flesh from Antonio. Antonio agrees, confident that his ships will return in time. Because of the terms of Portia's father's will, all suitors must choose from among three caskets, one of which contains a portrait of her. If he chooses that he may marry Portia, but if doesn't he must vow never to marry or court another woman. The Princes of Morocco and Arragon fail the test and are rejected. As Bassanio prepares to travel to Belmont for the test, his friend Lorenzo elopes with Shylock's daughter, Jessica. Bassanio chooses the lead casket, which contains her picture, and Portia happily agrees to marry him immediately. Meanwhile, two of Antonio's ships have been wrecked and Antonio's creditors are pressurising him for repayment. Word comes to Bassanio about Antonio's predicament, and he hurries back to Venice, leaving Portia behind. Portia follows him, accompanied by her maid, Nerissa. They are disguised as a male lawyer and his clerk. When Bassanio arrives the date for the repayment to Shylock has passed and Shylock is demanding his pound of flesh. Even when Bassanio offers much more than the amount in repayment, Shylock, now infuriated by the loss of his daughter, is intent on seeking revenge on the Christians. The Duke refuses to intervene. Portia arrives in her disguise to defend Antonio. Given the authority of judgment by the Duke, Portia decides that Shylock can have the pound of flesh as long as he doesn't draw blood, as it is against the law to shed a Christian's blood. Since it is obvious that to draw a pound of flesh would kill Antonio, Shylock is denied his suit. Moreover, for conspiring to murder a Venetian citizen, Portia orders that he should forfeit all his wealth. Half is to go to Venice, and half to Antonio. Antonio gives his half back to Shylock on the condition that Shylock bequeath it to his disinherited daughter, Jessica. Shylock must also convert to Christianity. A broken Shylock accepts. News arrives that Antonio's remaining ships have returned safely. With the exception of Shylock, all celebrate a happy ending to the affair.

Macbeth
William Shakespeare
Character List
Character List

Macbeth - Macbeth is a Scottish general and the thane of Glamis who is led to wicked thoughts by the prophecies of the three witches, especially after their prophecy that he will be made thane of Cawdor comes true. Macbeth is a brave soldier and a powerful man, but he is not a virtuous one. He is easily tempted into murder to fulfill his ambitions to the throne, and once he commits his first crime and is crowned King of Scotland, he embarks on further atrocities with increasing ease. Ultimately, Macbeth proves himself better suited to the battlefield than to political intrigue, because he lacks the skills necessary to rule without being a tyrant. His response to every problem is violence and murder. Unlike Shakespeares great villains, such as

Iago in Othello and Richard III in Richard III, Macbeth is never comfortable in his role as a criminal. He is unable to bear the psychological consequences of his atrocities.

Lady Macbeth - Macbeths wife, a deeply ambitious woman who lusts for power and position. Early in the play she seems to be the stronger and more ruthless of the two, as she urges her husband to kill Duncan and seize the crown. After the bloodshed begins, however, Lady Macbeth falls victim to guilt and madness to an even greater degree than her husband. Her conscience affects her to such an extent that she eventually commits suicide. Interestingly, she and Macbeth are presented as being deeply in love, and many of Lady Macbeths speeches imply that her influence over her husband is primarily sexual. Their joint alienation from the world, occasioned by their partnership in crime, seems to strengthen the attachment that they feel to each another.

The Three Witches - Three black and midnight hags who plot mischief against Macbeth using charms, spells, and prophecies. Their predictions prompt him to murder Duncan, to order the deaths of Banquo and his son, and to blindly believe in his own immortality. The play leaves the witches true identity unclear aside from the fact that they are servants of Hecate, we know little about their place in the cosmos. In some ways they resemble the mythological Fates, who impersonally weave the threads of human destiny. They

Banquo - The brave, noble general whose children, according to the witches prophecy, will inherit the Scottish throne. Like Macbeth, Banquo thinks ambitious thoughts, but he does not translate those thoughts into action. In a sense, Banquos character stands as a rebuke to Macbeth, since he represents the path Macbeth chose not to take: a path in which ambition need not lead to betrayal and murder. Appropriately, then, it is Banquos ghostand not Duncansthat haunts Macbeth. In addition to embodying Macbeths guilt for killing Banquo, the ghost also reminds Macbeth that he did not emulate Banquos reaction to the witches prophecy. King Duncan - The good King of Scotland whom Macbeth, in his ambition for the crown, murders. Duncan is the model of a virtuous, benevolent, and farsighted ruler. His death symbolizes the destruction of an order in Scotland that can be restored only when Duncans line, in the person of Malcolm, once more occupies the throne. Macduff - A Scottish nobleman hostile to Macbeths kingship from the start. He eventually becomes a leader of the crusade to unseat Macbeth. The crusades mission is to place the rightful king, Malcolm, on the throne, but Macduff also desires vengeance for Macbeths murder of Macduffs wife and young son. Malcolm - The son of Duncan, whose restoration to the throne signals Scotlands return to order following Macbeths reign of terror. Malcolm becomes a serious challenge to Macbeth with Macduffs aid (and the support of England). Prior to this, he appears weak and uncertain of his own power, as when he and Donalbain flee Scotland after their fathers murder. Hecate - The goddess of witchcraft, who helps the three witches work their mischief on Macbeth. Fleance - Banquos son, who survives Macbeths attempt to murder him. At the end of the play, Fleances whereabouts are unknown. Presumably, he may come to rule Scotland, fulfilling the witches prophecy that Banquos sons will sit on the Scottish throne. Lennox - A Scottish nobleman. Ross - A Scottish nobleman.

The Murderers - A group of ruffians conscripted by Macbeth to murder Banquo, Fleance (whom they fail to kill), and Macduffs wife and children. Porter - The drunken doorman of Macbeths castle. Lady Macduff - Macduffs wife. The scene in her castle provides our only glimpse of a domestic realm other than that of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. She and her home serve as contrasts to Lady Macbeth and the hellish world of Inverness. Donalbain - Duncans son and Malcolms younger brother

Summary of the plot or story

A thunderstorm and three witches conclude a meeting. They decide to confront the great Scottish general Macbeth on his victorious return from a war between Scotland and Norway. The Scottish king, Duncan, decides that he will confer the title of the traitorous Cawdor on the heroic Macbeth.

Macbeth, and another General called Banquo, happen upon the three witches. The witches predict that he will one day become king. They also predict that Banquo will beget a line of kings, although will not ascend the throne himself. King Duncan arranges to visit him at his castle. Macbeth cannot stop thinking about the witches' prediction that he will become king and decides that he will murder Duncan. Macbeth's wife agrees to his plan.

Duncan arrives at the castle with his entourage but he has second thoughts about the murder plot. The forceful Lady Macbeth holds him to his vow to kill Duncan and further encourages him. She then summons evil spirits to "unsex" her and fortify her with cruelty. He then murders Duncan assisted by his wife who smears the blood of Duncan on the daggers of the sleeping guards.

A nobleman called Macduff discovers the body. Before investigation can take place Macbeth kills the guards insisting that their daggers smeared with Duncan's blood are proof that they committed the murderous crime. Duncan's sons, Malcolm and Donalbain, do not believe their father, however, fearing for their lives, they flee Scotland. This makes them appear guilty so the crown passes to Macbeth.

He remembers the prophecy of the witches that Banquo will beget a line of kings So he sends hired assassins to murder Banquo and his sons Donalbain and Fleance. Fleance, is the only one to escape

with his life.

At a feast the bloodied ghost of Banquo appears to Macbeth but to no one else causing Macbeth to act and speak strangely. His wife sends the guests away.

Macbeth plagued by the fear of being discovered begins to suspect that Macduff, a nobleman who refused to attend the feast suspects him. He meets with the witches again and they confirm that he has good reason to fear Macduff but they soothe his fears by telling him that no born of woman can harm him.

After meeting with the witches he learns that Macduff is urging Duncan's son, Malcolm, to reclaim the throne. In revenge, he has Macduff's wife and son murdered. Macduff organizes an army to bring down Macbeth.

Lady Macbeth's conscience now begins to torture her and she imagines that she can see her hands covered with blood. She commits suicide.

Macbeth meets Macduff in hand-to-hand combat confident that he will win the day because ''none born of woman'' can harm him. Macduff then reveals that he was not ''of woman born'' but was ''untimely ripp'd'' from his mother's womb. Macduff kills Macbeth and the witches prediction proves true. Malcolm becomes king. The themes discussed are ambition, fate, deception and treachery.

William Shakespeare

Character List
Brutus - A supporter of the republic who believes strongly in a government guided by the votes of senators. While Brutus loves Caesar as a friend, he opposes the ascension of any single man to the position of dictator, and he fears that Caesar aspires to such power. Brutuss inflexible sense of honor makes it easy for Caesars enemies to manipulate him into believing that Caesar must die in order to preserve the republic. While the other conspirators act out of envy and rivalry, only Brutus truly believes that Caesars death will benefit Rome. Unlike Caesar, Brutus is able

to separate completely his public life from his private life; by giving priority to matters of state, he epitomizes Roman virtue. Torn between his loyalty to Caesar and his allegiance to the state, Brutus becomes the tragic hero of the play. Julius Caesar - A great Roman general and senator, recently returned to Rome in triumph after a successful military campaign. While his good friend Brutus worries that Caesar may aspire to dictatorship over the Roman republic, Caesar seems to show no such inclination, declining the crown several times. Yet while Caesar may not be unduly power-hungry, he does possess his share of flaws. He is unable to separate his public life from his private life, and, seduced by the populaces increasing idealization and idolization of his image, he ignores ill omens and threats against his life, believing himself as eternal as the North Star. Antony - A friend of Caesar. Antony claims allegiance to Brutus and the conspirators after Caesars death in order to save his own life. Later, however, when speaking a funeral oration over Caesars body, he spectacularly persuades the audience to withdraw its support of Brutus and instead condemn him as a traitor. With tears on his cheeks and Caesars will in his hand, Antony engages masterful rhetoric to stir the crowd to revolt against the conspirators. Antonys desire to exclude Lepidus from the power that Antony and Octavius intend to share hints at his own ambitious nature. Cassius - A talented general and longtime acquaintance of Caesar. Cassius dislikes the fact that Caesar has become godlike in the eyes of the Romans. He slyly leads Brutus to believe that Caesar has become too powerful and must die, finally converting Brutus to his cause by sending him forged letters claiming that the Roman people support the death of Caesar. Impulsive and unscrupulous, Cassius harbors no illusions about the way the political world works. A shrewd opportunist, he proves successful but lacks integrity. Octavius - Caesars adopted son and appointed successor. Octavius, who had been traveling abroad, returns after Caesars death; he then joins with Antony and sets off to fight Cassius and Brutus. Antony tries to control Octaviuss movements, but Octavius follows his adopted fathers example and emerges as the authoritative figure, paving the way for his eventual seizure of the reins of Roman government. Casca - A public figure opposed to Caesars rise to power. Casca relates to Cassius and Brutus how Antony offered the crown to Caesar three times and how each time Caesar declined it. He believes, however, that Caesar is the consummate actor, lulling the populace into believing that he has no personal ambition. Calpurnia - Caesars wife. Calpurnia invests great authority in omens and portents. She warns Caesar against going to the Senate on the Ides of March, since she has had terrible nightmares and heard reports of many bad omens. Nevertheless, Caesars ambition ultimately causes him to disregard her advice. Portia - Brutuss wife; the daughter of a noble Roman who took sides against Caesar. Portia, accustomed to being Brutuss confidante, is upset to find him so reluctant to speak his mind when she finds him troubled. Brutus later hears that Portia has killed herself out of grief that Antony and Octavius have become so powerful. Flavius - A tribune (an official elected by the people to protect their rights). Flavius condemns the plebeians for their fickleness in cheering Caesar, when once they cheered for Caesars enemy Pompey. Flavius is punished along with Murellus for removing the decorations from Caesars statues during Caesars triumphal parade. Cicero - A Roman senator renowned for his oratorical skill. Cicero speaks at Caesars triumphal parade. He later dies at the order of Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus. Lepidus - The third member of Antony and Octaviuss coalition. Though Antony has a low opinion of Lepidus, Octavius trusts his loyalty.

Murellus - Like Flavius, a tribune who condemns the plebeians for their fickleness in cheering Caesar, when once they cheered for Caesars enemy Pompey. Murellus and Flavius are punished for removing the decorations from Caesars statues during Caesars triumphal parade. Decius - A member of the conspiracy. Decius convinces Caesar that Calpurnia misinterpreted her dire nightmares and that, in fact, no danger awaits him at the Senate. Decius leads Caesar right into the hands of the conspirators.

Plot Summary

Julius Caesar has returned to Rome triumphant from the war against Pompey. The Roman republic is prepared to heap him with new honours, causing concern and dismay among some senators who fear that too much power is held by one man. Caius Cassius plots a conspiracy to murder Caesar, enlisting the support of the well-respected Marcus Brutus. Brutus has misgivings but is persuaded that Caesar's death is necessary for the good of the republic. However, he rejects Cassius' proposal that Mark Antony, close friend of Caesar, should also be killed. Brutus, Cassius and their co-conspirators stab Caesar to death at the senate house on the Ides of March. At Caesar's funeral Brutus addresses the people and successfully explains the conspirators' motives. However, Mark Antony speaks next and turns the mob against the conspirators, who are forced to flee from Rome. Mark Antony and Caesar's nephew, Octavius, take command of Rome and lead an army against the conspirators. Brutus and Cassius are defeated at Philippi where they kill themselves rather than be captured.