Who dies in Oliver Twist?

Several characters die in Oliver Twist, including Bill Sikes, Nancy, and Fagin.

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In chapter 47, Bill murders Nancy, because he believes Fagin, who tells him that Nancy has been drugging him in his sleep. Bill wakes Nancy from her sleep and drags her from her bed. Nancy pleads with Bill, but Bill is overwhelmed with anger and her pleas are in vain. Bill hits Nancy across her face with his pistol before striking her down with "a heavy club."

In chapter 50, Bill Sikes dies while trying to escape from an angry mob. Bill makes a noose out of a length of rope. He determines to tie one end of the rope around a chimney and then, using the noose tied around his chest, lower himself safely down to the ground. As he loops the noose over his head, and before he can lower it beneath his arms, he loses his balance and falls. Bill falls "for five-and-thirty feet" with the rope around his neck, and then there is a "sudden jerk [and] a terrific convulsion of the limbs." Bill Sikes dies in this way, hanging from a noose that he made for himself.

In chapter 52, Fagin is executed for his part in a murder. A judge sentences him to "be hanged by the neck, till he [is] dead." Thinking upon his death, in his prison cell, Fagin feels "helpless" and "desperate." He paces back and forth in his cell, in "a paroxysm of fear and wrath" and suffering "the tortures of his evil conscience." As he is taken from his cell to be led to the gallows, Fagin lets out a cry, or a scream which "penetrate[s] ... [the] massive walls" of the cell.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on March 2, 2021
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