The Murder of Matthew Shepard. LGBT Essay Example

The Laramie project is a play based on the murder of Matthew Shepard and how the town of Laramie was affected by this shocking event and how they felt through interviews. This play shows many perspectives with 66 characters yet, only 8 people play those characters. Scarecrow on the other hand is a song about the death of Matthew Shepard and how society reacted to his death and how people are coping with it. The Laramie Project, a play by Moises Kaufman, shows different perspectives on how the people in the town of Laramie felt about Matthew Shepard’s murder in great detail. Whereas the song Scarecrow, written by Melissa Etheridge, shows more of a one side societal view of Matthew Shepard’s death in a lack of detail. 

One of the styles of writing that Moises Kaufman uses in the play is a lot of stuttering when the people of Laramie are being interviewed. Each character stutters when they are responding to a question that they are being asked for example “I-I…”is a repetitive phrase that occurs many times during the play. This shows that the people who are being interview don’t know how to respond to the questions they are being asked because something, such as a murder, hasn't happened in their town before. With this effect Moises Kaufman tries to give a raw effect of the play and helps show the reader that these are real interviews and real opinions, which helps the reader have a true view of the situation with Matthew Shepard's death.

Another technique used in the play, especially in the Moment: Live and Let Live is that Sergeant Hing talks about his opinion when he heard the news of Matthew's death, and every time he would finish his sentence, he would end with the phrase live and let live. Saying the phrase “live and let live” in the Moment Live and Let Live adds greater emphasis to how significant the phrase has on the town of Laramie. Multiple character says something relatively similar, it can be said in a positive way, but sometimes it's also aggressive, and a negative way as well. Having this phrase gives the reader detail on what was really going on during this whole situation, helping the reader have a non bias view.

On the other hand Scarecrow focuses on more of a one side societal view on the death of Matthew Shepard. The image of a scarecrow was chosen because the bicyclist who found Matthew Shepard, who was tied to a fence, first thought that he was a scarecrow. The song criticizes hypocritical and deprecatory attitudes towards gay people in the media and society. This plays off as that it was just a hate crime and that everyone else that thinks other of it is wrong, which is not the case, everyone had a different opinion on his death. Not even the town of Laramie has the same opinion on Matthew’s Death. Lyrics from the song such as “This was our brother, This was our son, This shepherd young and mil.” These lyrics from the song make it seem that everyone accepted him or accepted the gay community and that everyone was devastated by this event. Only showing one side of a story is not the full story and it gives confusion to the person that is listening to this song. 

The death of Matthew Shepard has been a changing event not just in town of Laramie, but for the United States and as well as the LGBTQ community. Yet whether how you hear the news is the way you interpret it. As stated The Laramie Project, shows different perspectives in interviews on how the town of Laramie on how they felt about Matthew Shepard’s murder. Whereas the song Scarecrow, shows more of a one side societal view of Matthew Shepard’s. Having only one side of the story is never the full truth, yet people can choose to hear what they want to hear and choose what they do and don’t want to believe, yet if you want to get the full story of something, which is this case is the death of Matthew Shepard, you have to read or hear both sides.



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