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Can One of the dilemmas facing a modern day director in the presentation of the witches is making them seem menacing to a modern day audience. In Shakespeare's Macbeth.

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Can One of the dilemmas facing a modern day director in the presentation of the witches is making them seem menacing to a modern day audience. In Shakespeare's day witches were feared as they were believed to wield tremendous power and thus the stereotypical image of a witch would be enough to invoke genuine respect and fear in the audience. However, current audiences find the stereotypical image of witches more amusing than fearful therefore directors have incorporated different personalities to make sure the witches induce fear in the modern day audience. In the 1998 Channel 4 films version of Macbeth the witches are dressed in colourful mismatching garb this suggests that the witches would not have bought the clothes and that they are in fact someone else's that they have scavenged or stolen. This version is intended for a younger audience therefore their costume makes the witches seem more realistic because a modern day street hawker would evoke similar emotions (those of alarm and respect) in younger audiences to those evoked by stereotypical witches in Shakespeare's era. The age of the witches also differs when compared to the Animated Tales and Japanese version. The witches are more middle aged and much younger then the ones in the Animated Tales and Akiro Kurasawa versions. ...read more.


The "evil spirit" continues to spin a spinning wheel throughout the scene and the turning of the wheel is almost mesmerizing and seems to indicate her hypnotic powers as she enthrals Macbeth with her insight into the future. The spinning wheel is also symbolic of the wheel of fate and the control she generates over it as she tells Macbeth of her foresight. This foresight is what leads to Macbeth murdering King Duncan and causes the disruption of natural order in the play. Had the "evil spirit" never told Macbeth of his future he would never have committed such a heinous crime. In the Channel 4 Films version of Macbeth the props are the items carried by the witches that they seem to have scavenged from derelict ruins where they are standing. The scavenged items make the witches seem powerful because it makes the audience assume that the witches have destroyed the hamlet. However, as they are not actually shown destroying anything the witches are not shown doing any magic with wands or any tools that we might have imagined them to have. This is clever because it means they manage to look realistic without being stereotypically amusing. In the Animated Tales the witches have only masks as props that they remove when they speak. ...read more.


In thunder, lightening, or in rain?" We see a similar setting in the Animated Tales version where at the entrance of the witches they laugh in a high-pitched voice, which leads to lightening and thunder. The witches appear in many different areas but the all of them are desolate, infrequently visited dark areas, similar to the dark persona of the witches. The scenes where we see the witches have dark tones that are unusual for an animated feature, which draws the attention of older audiences and makes it seem more serious giving it more depth then audiences may perceive it to have. Along with being similar the use of the setting in the narratives also differs from version to version. In the Channel 4 films version the setting is desolate hamlet, which has been destroyed. At the introduction of the witches the audience find themselves blaming them for the devastation, yet the more fearful aspect of is that they seem so comfortable amid the destruction. Their involvement in the destruction signifies that they are a potent threat and to be alarmed about. There is a contrast between the two versions, while the Royal Shakespeare Company has a setting in thunder and lightening with possibility of rain the Channel 4 films version shows them among fire and though fire and rain are opposites they both manage to instil fear in the audience. Analyse the presentation of the witches in selected versions of Macbeth Shubhangi Kitchloo 11G ...read more.

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