Essay: Macbeth, Oliver Twist and Angela's Ashes

Macbeth

The play begins with the appearance of the three witches and it then moves on to a military camp where the Scottish king Duncan hears the news that his generals, Macbeth and Banquo, defeated two armies from Ireland and Norway. After their battle with these enemy forces Macbeth and Banquo encounter the three witches as they cross a moor. The witches predict that Macbeth will be made the King of Scotland and Banquo will beget a line of Scottish kings, although he will never be king himself. The previous thane betrayed Scotland by fighting for the Norwegians and Duncan has condemned him to death. Macbeth visits the king Duncan and they plan to dine together at Macbeth’s castle that night.
Lady Macbeth suffers from her husband’s uncertainty and wants the kingship for him so she wants to murder Duncan. When Macbeth arrives she persuades him to kill the king that night. They plan to blame the murder on the chamberlains. While Duncan is asleep Macbeth stabs him. When Duncan’s death is discovered the next morning, Macbeth also kills the chamberlains. Duncan’s sons Malcolm and Donalbain flee to England and Ireland. Still fearful of the witches prediction Macbeth hires a group of murderers to kill Banquo and his son Fleance, they are able to kill Banquo but fail to kill Fleance, who escapes into the night. Macbeth becomes furious because his power still remains insecure. At a feast that night Macbeth gets scared when Banquo’s ghost visits him, he goes and sees the witches again. The witches show Macbeth a sequence of demons and spirits who opposed Macbeth’s accession to the throne, he can’t be harmed by any man born by women, and he will be safe until Birman Woods comes to Dunsinane Castle, he feels relieved. When he hears that Macduff has fled to England to join Malcolm, Macbeth orders to kill Macduff and her children.
When news of his family’s execution reaches Macduff in England he want revenge. Macduff joins the army in England from Prince Malcolm and joins him as he rides to Scotland to challenge the forces from Macbeth. The invasion has support of the Scottish nobles who are frightened by Macbeth’s murderous behaviour. Meanwhile lady Macbeth gets problems with sleepwalking in which she bemoans what she believes to the be bloodstains on her hands. Macbeth receives the news that she killed herself, he sank in a deep despair.

Nevertheless he waits for the English to arrive. In the battle the English forces gradually overwhelm Macbeth’s army and his castle. On the battlefield Macduff declares that he was not ‘of woman born’ but was instead ‘untimely ripped’ from his mother’s womb. Though Macbeth realizes that he is doomed, he still fights until Macduff kills and beheads him. Malcolm, now King of Scotland, declares his intentions for the country and invites all to see him crowned at Scone.

Dickens, C

Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist is born in England in the 1830’s, his mother just dies after Oliver’s birth. He spend the first nine years of his life in a home for orphans and then is transferred to a workhouse for adults. He escapes being a chimney sweeper and is eventually working with a local undertaker, Mr. Sowerburry. When another worker starts making comments about Oliver’s mother, he attacks him and then desperate runs away and travels towards London.

Outside London Oliver is starved and exhausted and he meets Jack Dawkins, a boy of his own age. Jack offers him shelter in the London house of his benefactor, Fagin. He turns out to be a criminal who teaches orphan boys to pickpocket for him. After a couple of days of training Oliver goes out with two other boys, when he sees them swipe of a handkerchief of a from an older gentleman he runs off. He does narrowly escaped being convicted of the theft. Mr. Brownlow, the man whose handkerchief was stolen, takes Oliver back to his home, he doesn’t stay there for long because two young adults in Fagin’s gang capture Oliver and take him back to Fagin.

Fagin sends Oliver to help Sikes with a burglary. Oliver is shot by a servant of the house and, after Sikes escapes, is taken by the woman who lives there, her name is Mrs. Maylie, she and her adopted niece Rose spend a summer with Oliver in the countryside. Meanwhile Fagin and a mysterious man named Monks are set on recapturing Oliver, it is also revealed that Oliver’s mum left behind a gold locket, this gets destroyed by Monk.
Nancy meets secretly with Rose and informs her of Fagin, but a member of Fagin’s gang hears the conversation. When the words reaches Sikes, he brutally murdered Nancy and flees to London. There he hangs himself while trying to escape.
It is revealed that Oliver is Monk’s half-brother. Their father, Mr. Leeford, was unhappily married to a wealthy woman and had an affair with Oliver’s mum, Agnes Fleming. Finally, Mr. Brownlow adopts Oliver, and they and the Maylies retire to a existence in the countryside.

McCourt, F

Angela’s ashes

The narrator, Frank McCourt, describes how his parents meet in Brooklyn, New York. After his mother, Angela, gets pregnant with Frank, she marries Malachy, the father of her child. Angela is struggling to feed her growing family of sons, while Malachy spends his money on alcohol. Frank’s loved baby sister, Margaret, dies and his mother falls in to a depression. The family decides to return to Ireland, more trouble happens when they are in Ireland, Angela has a miscarriage, Frank’s two younger brothers die and Malachy continues to drink away the family’s money. Frank’s childhood is described as a time of deprivation, but of good humour and adventure as well.

In the winter, when the fist floor of the house floods, Angela and Malachy decide that the family will move to the warm second floor, which they call ‘Italy’. Malachy uses up all the money for the family’s food, he still earns Frank’s love by entertaining him with stories about Irish heroes and the people who live on their lane.

In the next years Angela gives birth to two sons, Michael and Alphonsus. When Frank gets older the story focuses on his school, when he is ten he gets confirmed. Right after his confirmation he gets ill with typhoid fever stays in hospital for months. He finds comfort in all kind of stories, from Shakespeare to movies to newspaper. When he goes back to school he is obviously good in language, especially his storytelling.
Later Frank begins to work for Mr. Hannon, this is the first in a series of jobs, Frank likes the feeling of responsibility he gets from working and he dreams of saving enough to provide his family with food and clothes.

While working as a messenger boy Frank begins a relationship with a customer, Theresa Carmody, who eventually dies and leaves him heartbroken. Frank saves enough money to go to New York, on his first night there he attends a party. Though he is sad to leave behind his family behind in Ireland, he has great expectations for the future.

Source: Essay UK - http://xbmm43.com/essays/english-literature/essay-macbeth-oliver-twist-and-angelas-ashes/


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