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Nightmare Fuel / William Shakespeare

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  • Macbeth

  • Hamlet:
    • The spectre. We don't even know if it really is the soul of the dead king; it could be a demon planning to damn Hamlet. If so, it succeeds.
    • Ophelia's madness can come across as quite disturbing - especially since she even loses her self-preservation instincts.
  • In Julius Caesar, the scene where an innocent poet is literally torn to pieces just because he shared a name with one of Caesar's assassins, Cinna. This is something that could happen to anyone.
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  • The infamous scene in King Lear in which Gloucester is blinded.
  • Iago from Othello. The idea that someone has the ability to persuade otherwise decent people to commit murder is highly disturbing, and the fact that nobody has been able to completely put a finger on his motives doesn't help.
  • Titus Andronicus is full of it, with all the killings, dismemberings etc. Moments that stand out include:
    • The sheer extent of Tamora's planned vengeance. She won't rest until the entire Andronicus family is dead.
    • Demetrius and Chiron raping and horribly mutilating Lavinia and then taunting her about it afterwards in a horrifying manner.
    • Aaron casually stabbing the nurse out of nowhere to eliminate witnesses to his baby's origin.
    • Aaron's speech about all the many wicked deeds he has committed, including digging up dead bodies and placing them on their friends' doorsteps.
    • Titus baking Demetrius and Chiron into a pie and serving it to their mother. (Granted, they all had it coming, but still...)
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  • The ending of The Two Gentlemen of Verona may be this for Silvia. Her boyfriend Valentine briefly offered her to her would-be-rapist Proteus, who is his best friend, and thinks nothing of talking about how they will all live together (if his final line about "one feast, one house..." is to be taken literally).
  • As evidenced by the title, The Taming of the Shrew has Petruchio psychologically wearing down his bride Katherine. She's Denied Food as Punishment and subjected to a Sleep Deprivation Punishment and even 2 + Torture = 5! Her speech at the end, urging women to submit to their husbands, demonstrates how fully Petruchio has crushed her spirit. The worst part is that, though some more recent performances have acknowledged the horror of what Katherine goes through (for example, by playing up the Broken Bird angle during her final monologue), more traditional versions play the whole thing for laughs!