Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Would They Still Be Alive Had They Read Romeo and Juliet?

Under today's Anchorage Daily News headline, "2nd man charged in Muldoon shootout"  was a story as old as time.  Two young men from rival clans have words.   Their friends try to calm things but when blood is drawn, they too draw blood.

What if Ramirez and Chang had read Romeo and Juliet?  Better yet, what if they had been cast in high school as Mercutio and Tybalt and played their parts with wooden swords?  Would they now both be dead? 

Consider this rough juxtaposition of Act 3, Scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet and Kyle Hopkins' ADN story.

Shakespeare in  Romeo and Juliet:

O calm, dishonourable, vile submission!
Alla stoccata carries it away.
Tybalt, you rat-catcher, will you walk?
What wouldst thou have with me?
Good king of cats, nothing but one of your nine
lives; that I mean to make bold withal, and as you
shall use me hereafter, drybeat the rest of the
eight. Will you pluck your sword out of his pitcher
by the ears? make haste, lest mine be about your
ears ere it be out.
I am for you.
Gentle Mercutio, put thy rapier up.
Come, sir, your passado.
They fight

At some point, Laulu told police, the argument that ignited inside the lounge spilled outside and turned physical. Ramirez and another, unnamed person began wrestling two men described in the charges only as "Asian males."
Others joined in the fight. Guns were pulled, the charges say.

Draw, Benvolio; beat down their weapons.
Gentlemen, for shame, forbear this outrage!
Tybalt, Mercutio, the prince expressly hath
Forbidden bandying in Verona streets:
Hold, Tybalt! good Mercutio!
TYBALT under ROMEO's arm stabs MERCUTIO, and flies with his followers

"(Ramirez) says, 'I haven't got a gun on me. I wouldn't bring a gun into your bar,' " Buffington told the Daily News.
"I says, 'Well if you do, take it out to your car,' " Buffington recalled.

Laulu spotted a man approaching from across the street, the charges say.
Chang died from a gunshot wound to the head, an autopsy found, according to the charges. His body was picked up from Muldoon Road.
Laulu saw Chang fall to the ground and called to Ramirez to leave, the charges say. That's when another man, whom police have identified as 25-year-old Lee Chee Chang, began firing on Ramirez, according to the charges.

I am hurt.
A plague o' both your houses! I am sped.
Is he gone, and hath nothing?
What, art thou hurt?
Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch; marry, 'tis enough.
Where is my page? Go, villain, fetch a surgeon.
Exit Page
Courage, man; the hurt cannot be much.
No, 'tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a
church-door; but 'tis enough,'twill serve: ask for
me to-morrow, and you shall find me a grave man. I
am peppered, I warrant, for this world. A plague o'
both your houses! 'Zounds, a dog, a rat, a mouse, a
cat, to scratch a man to death! a braggart, a
rogue, a villain, that fights by the book of
arithmetic! Why the devil came you between us? I
was hurt under your arm.
I thought all for the best.  .  .
O Romeo, Romeo, brave Mercutio's dead!
That gallant spirit hath aspired the clouds,
Which too untimely here did scorn the earth.
This day's black fate on more days doth depend;
This but begins the woe, others must end.
Here comes the furious Tybalt back again.
Alive, in triumph! and Mercutio slain!
Away to heaven, respective lenity,
And fire-eyed fury be my conduct now!
Re-enter TYBALT
Now, Tybalt, take the villain back again,
That late thou gavest me; for Mercutio's soul
Is but a little way above our heads,
Staying for thine to keep him company:
Either thou, or I, or both, must go with him.

A passing driver told police he saw Lee Chee Chang stand above Ramirez in the parking lot, rack a round into the chamber and shoot him. Ramirez died from multiple gunshot wounds, including one to the head, an autopsy found.

Thou, wretched boy, that didst consort him here,
Shalt with him hence.
This shall determine that.
They fight; TYBALT falls
Romeo, away, be gone!
The citizens are up, and Tybalt slain.
Stand not amazed: the prince will doom thee death,
If thou art taken: hence, be gone, away!
O, I am fortune's fool!

After seeing Ramirez fall, Laulu left in the Infiniti, the charges say. Laulu wiped the gun clean and tossed it from the car as he escaped, he told police.

Who knows?  Maybe they did read Romeo and Juliet.  And this still happened. 

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