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It's a close run between this and the play I'm going to talk about tomorrow, but I think the end of Macbeth has it. It combines a strong dramatic closure to the violence of Macbeth's story with the punchline about Macduff. It's also the root of the Ngaio Marsh novel, Light Thickens, which I mentioned earlier.

Macbeth: Of all men else I have avoided thee:
But get thee back; my soul is too much charged
With blood of thine already.
Macduff: I have no words:
My voice is in my sword: thou bloodier villain
Than terms can give thee out!
[They fight]
Macbeth: Thou losest labour:
As easy mayst thou the intrenchant air
With thy keen sword impress as make me bleed:
Let fall thy blade on vulnerable crests;
I bear a charmed life, which must not yield,
To one of woman born.
Macduff: Despair thy charm;
And let the angel whom thou still hast served
Tell thee, Macduff was from his mother's womb
Untimely ripp'd.
Macbeth: Accursed be that tongue that tells me so,
For it hath cow'd my better part of man!
And be these juggling fiends no more believed,
That palter with us in a double sense;
That keep the word of promise to our ear,
And break it to our hope. I'll not fight with thee.
Macduff: Then yield thee, coward,
And live to be the show and gaze o' the time:
We'll have thee, as our rarer monsters are,
Painted on a pole, and underwrit,
'Here may you see the tyrant.'
Macbeth: I will not yield,
To kiss the ground before young Malcolm's feet,
And to be baited with the rabble's curse.
Though Birnam wood be come to Dunsinane,
And thou opposed, being of no woman born,
Yet I will try the last. Before my body
I throw my warlike shield. Lay on, Macduff,
And damn'd be him that first cries, 'Hold, enough!'
[Exeunt, fighting. Alarums]

Here's Patrick Stewart, being brutally killed by Michael Feast in a Stalinist version of eleventh-century Scotland. It's pretty graphic.



The 30 days:
Day #1: Your favourite play
Day #2: Your favourite character
Day #3: Your favourite hero
Day #4: Your favourite heroine
Day #5: Your favourite villain
Day #6: Your favourite villainess
Day #7: Your favourite clown
Day #8: Your favourite comedy
Day #9: Your favourite tragedy
Day #10: Your favourite history
Day #11: Your least favourite play
Day #12: Your favourite scene
Day #13: Your favourite romantic scene
Day #14: Your favourite fight scene
Day #15: The first play you read
Day #16: Your first play you saw
Day #17: Your favourite speech
Day #18: Your favourite dialogue
Day #19: Your favourite movie version of a play
Day #20: Your favourite movie adaptation of a play
Day #21: An overrated play
Day #22: An underrated play
Day #23: A role you've never played but would love to play
Day #24: An actor or actress you would love to see in a particular role
Day #25: Sooner or later, everyone has to choose: Hal or Falstaff?
Day #26: Your favourite couple
Day #27: Your favourite couplet
Day #28: Your favourite joke
Day #29: Your favourite sonnet
Day #30: Your favourite single line

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
owlfish
May. 4th, 2016 09:13 am (UTC)
We stopped off for lunch at Dunkelm yesterday, right next to Birnam. We saw lots of its trees around, although did not properly go into Birnam given we were in the midst of a 6.5 hour drive.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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