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Comparing a devised piece with MacBeth

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Introduction

Part 1 - Comparison Essay - Devising I am comparing the two plays 'Wake Up' and 'Macbeth'. Shakespeare wrote Macbeth in 1606, but it was set in around 1040. 'Wake Up', our devised piece, was written in 2005, where the play is also set. Macbeth is a Shakespearian tragedy, set loosely around the time of 1040. There are clear themes of suspicion, plotting, deception, blood and murder within the play. One of the reasons Shakespeare wrote the Macbeth was to please the king at the time, James I of England. The story of Macbeth is generally based around Raphael Holinshed's historical writing, Chronicles of England Scotland and Ireland, which depicts story of a Scottish king who murdered his way to the throne in 1040 as Macbeth does in the play. This tribute to James I's Scottish ancestry, and the fact that Banquo is a noble man is not mere coincidence; this was the name of the founder of the royal family of Stuarts in Scotland, to whom James can trace his heritage. King James was also a sound believer in the occult, so Shakespeare included the supernatural idea of witches in order to appeal to James I's theological interests. 'Wake Up' was both written and set in 2005. It was written as a devised GCSE piece, and the stimulus for the idea was a piece of text about dreams and reality. ...read more.

Middle

They are both tragic plays, as the endings are of death in both plays: Macbeth kills Macdonwald and several enemy soldiers; he kills King Duncan in his sleep, due to the witches' influence; he has Banquo and Fleance killed; Lady Macbeth commits suicide, and Macduff kills Macbeth in battle. In 'Wake Up', Joe kills Junior and himself, his actions influenced by the 'Angel'. The 'Angel' himself kills Hughbert. This leads to various similarities between the plays. The character of Macbeth kills Duncan due to the witches, as Joe kills Junior due to the 'Angel'. The witches can thus be likened to the Angel, luring their prey with promise of greatness, causing death. This deception is common throughout both plays. The death of Banquo is also similar to the death of Junior; both Macbeth and Joe kill their best friends for standing in the way of their foretold elevation. The character of Hughbert bears little likeness to any characters in Macbeth, however. Deception and death are central to both plays. I am going to be playing the character of the 'Angel'. Throughout the play, I must ensure that the duality of my character is made clear to the audience; when addressing Joe I must speak calmly, in a relaxed, smooth tone to try and lull him into thinking I am there to help him. ...read more.

Conclusion

The term stylistic is the opposite of naturalistic; things are mostly symbolic, so that the idea of something is put across but not shown visually. Things such as 'imaginary doors' are evident in the dream scenes, as there is supposed to be no concept of normal human reality, making this side of the play very stylistic. We will perform this with the 'fourth wall', defined above, in all scenes excluding scene 5, in which the audience is referred to; Joe is asked to pick out the member of the audience (all of whom are beautiful women as far as Joe is concerned) to have sex with behind an imaginary door. 'Wake Up' is predominantly a tragedy, but there are a few light-hearted areas as well. The scene where Junior is suggesting potential girlfriends has a faster pace than other scenes, as it has a more comical overtone than most of the rest of the production In conclusion, these plays are both different, yet still have similarities. They are written around 400 years apart, and set almost 1000 years apart. Despite this, there are still similarities in the underlying ideas. The plots are both tragic, and follow the same general themes of deception and death. The characters have similarities in motive, it is generally only their methods which alter. The style of Macbeth is realistic, whereas 'Wake Up' is more stylistic, due to the limitations of the resources at hand and time scale. Harry Dayantis 11L - 1 - ...read more.

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