• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare the presentation of the opening scene of Macbeth by the Royal Shakespeare Company with that of Polanskis production. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each version stating which you prefer and explaining the reasons for your choice.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Compare the presentation of the opening scene of Macbeth by the Royal Shakespeare Company with that of Polanskis production. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each version stating which you prefer and explaining the reasons for your choice. Macbeth is a tragic play about a man who lusted after power. He stole the throne of Scotland from Prince Malcolm and threw the country into chaos through his evil reign. In the end his own greed and guilt are his downfall. At the beginning of the play Macbeth has everything going for him being just awarded the Thane of Cawdor. Shortly after the battle he meets three witches who sow seeds of greed in Macbeth's mind by telling him he will become king of Scotland. Shakespeare's Macbeth was written for James the First, king of Scotland and England in 1603. Shakespeare knew that the play would appeal to James because he had an interest in witchcraft. In the Jacobean period when the Macbeth was written and performed most of Britain believed that witchcraft existed and there were even laws to prevent the practice. ...read more.

Middle

The witches then cover the shallow hole with sand and pour what looks to be blood on the surface. The witches then spit three times together and walk off. After this a long shot of the witches walking into the distance is shown. This opening scene is very different to how Shakespeare intended the scene to be acted. I think this is Polanski's style. He likes to make his own mark on the film. For example when Banquo was killed Shakespeare did not include this in his production but Polanski did. I think he did this to make his production a bit different and I think to make the film appeal to a wider audience. I will now discuss the opening scene of the Royal Shakespeare Company's production. The scene opens with an overhead view of a circular state. All the characters then file in and take their seats around the outer edge of the circle. While this is happening an organ plays creating a church like atmosphere this is very different to Polanski's soundtrack. ...read more.

Conclusion

You seem to understand me, By each at once her choppy finger laying Upon her skinny lips; you should be women, And yet your beards forbid me to interpret That you are so. Both productions have been very clever in bringing their respective scenes to life. The RSC production relies totally on lighting costume and audio due to it being a stage production. I think the Royal Shakespeare Company's witches come across very well. They look, act and sound more evil than Polanski's. I think this is an area were Polanski could improve his production. Polanski is very good at setting the mood. I felt the RSC jumped too quickly into the main text of the scene. I liked the way Polanski took a shot of a red sky possibly to show the blood shed to come in the play and I liked the way the witches fade away into the fog of the beach. Personally I prefer Polanski's production. As soon as you see the opening shot you just want to see what happens next. The RSC rushed their opening scene and the addition of Duncan just confuses things for me. By Richard Harpur ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Macbeth essays

  1. A Comparison of Roman Polanski's film version of Macbeth and the BBC Shakespeare production ...

    The film version completely turns the story upside down. The viewer's expectations of the opening scene are upset because it is different than the BBC production. The scene is set on a beach (which is usually associated with joy) and now it has more of a sinister look. The pale colours make the red more striking.

  2. Compare & contrast the opening scene of Shakespeare's Macbeth as portrayed by Roman Polanski ...

    Similarly there is a flash of lightning and roll of thunder before the first with speaks. As the witches speak they remain knelt up straight, bathed in shadows ensuring that there is an air of mystery.

  1. Compare and contrast Roman Polanski's and Orson Welles' film adaptation of the opening scene ...

    Both Polanski and Welles use settings and other cinematic techniques to good effect in creating an atmospheric opening scene. Both directors use remote and disserted areas for the setting and they both have adapted quite well what Shakespeare wanted to convey by an open place.

  2. MacBeth - Examine a scene from Mac Beth - both film and text versions. ...

    Polanski had a hard life and sad upbringing. His mother and father were taken to a German concentration camp when he was three; his mother died but his father survived and Polanski was reunited with him when he was twelve. Cult leader, Charles Manson, in a random attack, also killed his wife in 1969.

  1. Macbeth The presentation of the witches in the opening scenes is crucial to the ...

    The witches are standing in a triangle formation as well as the dolmen were both significant shapes in witchcraft due to the role of witchcraft in society at this time the appearance of this symbol heightened the already menacing and frightening atmosphere.

  2. How do the directors Trevor Nunn and Roman Polanski present Act I scenes I ...

    This is a technique that is good because Polanski shows at least the aftermath of the fighting so the audience get a good image of what happened in the battle, but they don't see the actual fighting. There is one criticism during the showing of the battlefield after the fighting,

  1. Comparison of two different productions of Macbeth

    when he says the second the line "but to be safely thus" at this point Macbeth almost lets his guard down and becomes somewhat pathetic but he soon regains his anger when he talks about Banquo again. In the BBC production we can see Macbeth is very angry in both

  2. Write about the transposition of Shakespeare's play, Macbeth, from live theatre to the medium ...

    is likely that he will stay to the end, so the director can have a boring beginning and the exiting bits could be at the end without fear of loosing his audience.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work