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

Comparisons of the Tragedy of Macbeth as Seen in Films Directed by Roman Polanksi’s and Michael Bogdanov

Extracts from this document...


Matthew Stone 10/17/02 Comparisons of the Tragedy of Macbeth as Seen in Films Directed by Roman Polanksi's and Michael Bogdanov Roman Polanksi's version of the tragic tail of Shakespeare's Macbeth is shown to us, the viewer in its most traditional way, having it been filmed and directed entirely in South Wales allowed us, the viewers to imagine what Shakespeare wanted his audience in his time period to feel. Roman Polanski uses both words and settings to enhance Shakespeare Message in which he understood it. While Michael Bogdanov uses Shakespeare's classic text in his production that is set in a timeless world in a raw, urban, industrial environment giving the film a surreal quality. The abstract setting puts this version of Macbeth alongside other more traditional versions of how Macbeth is usually filmed. Roman Polanksi's film, Macbeth opens with a long shot of the sky and the beach at dawn. All is quiet and still as the shot is held. You notice that the sky is red - a warning sign of danger, but it's a very beautiful image. The sky then gradually turns to a blue-grey, and a far more foreboding colour. The red bleeds out and disappears. ...read more.


This gives the idea of ambition, and an indication that daggers are going to be important later in the story. But at this stage it creates mystery, and intrigues the audience. A phial of blood is thrown on the buried things, and its vivid redness takes us back to the opening shot. The witches spit on the sand. The dialogue is spoken low-key, very quietly - these witches are in control and self-assured. The witches walk off slowly into the mist and soft, eerie music starts. As in Michael Bogdanov film Shakespeare's dialog is also kept the same, and they finish on the name Macbeth, so right from the start you know who the story is going to be about. Though instead of the buried ritual that the witches preformed in Polanksi's film in futuristic Bogdanov's production the withes open by them sitting and conducting conversation over a game of cards. Although both films use Shakespeare's Act One scene i as a starting point, the approaches are completely different. There's more concrete detail in the Polanski film that we can respond to in a variety of ways, while you know what effect Bogdanov is aiming for in his version. ...read more.


In the end you have two different versions, both of which are worth seeing. What they both show is that there are endless approaches to the play, and every director can find something different in the text. I found that the modern intake of the film played too much of a distraction through some parts of the scenes and I personally preferred having it been played in a traditional atmosphere as done by Roman Polanski. Though some ideas and views are clearly shown, for example the actor who played Lady Macbeth in Michael Bogdanov production of the film, her ambitions where clearly and cleverly shown. I felt that Bogdanov may have felt that because we live in a visual society kids and teenagers today are more visually sophisticated than at any previous time. On the other hand, they are less verbally-orientated: TV has replaced the book as the filler of children's imaginations. If we want Shakespeare to survive to be read and know through to the next decades we're going to have to use the techniques of the visual age to make him accessible. Though I felt that major improvement could have been done to improve the modern futuristic approach ...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. Original writing Letter

    Apart from those things, humans have not changed very much for hundreds and even thousands of years, so we can set this play (and almost every other play) in any time period we want. What is harder to decide on, is a setting where the context would be logical and, most of all, believable.

  2. Study three dramatised interpretations of Macbeth

    The props used in this scene were the tarot cards which were used at the beginning, a pentacle which appeared to be carved into the ground, a mask which remained in the centre of the pentacle, charm bracelets and gothic rings etc., candles and roller blades which were used towards the end of the scene.

  1. The Film Versions of Macbeth

    There is more of an effort on behalf of the viewer. Conclusively it would be much easier and beneficial staying at home and watching the production on television. It is much more entertaining watching a prepared production, than sitting in a confined enclosure such as theatre.

  2. What is Shakespeare's purpose for the witches in Macbeth?

    The witches get away with it. In the play the witches speak differently from the rest of the cast because Shakespeare wants to tell the audience when the witches are on and to create a sense of fear in the audience and to keep the audience focused on the play. The witches sometimes speak in riddles.

  1. write a review of the woman in black as a member of the audience

    back to normal when the actors came out of the play within a play. I also noticed that the lights were brighter on the woman in black when she appeared all the lighting was down to Kevin sleep.

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

    From the right hand corner appears a stick and a circle is drawn in the sand, which shows us that there is a hierarchy of witches however we do not see the witch's faces'. The other two witches then dig a hole in the circle with their hands.

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

    clothes, they touch the floor and start screaming and then animal sounds are heard, these sounds show that the witches are calling their evil spirits as the sounds are very strong and loud. Polanski starts his production off where the book does which starts off with the meeting of the three witches on a beach.

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

    and the other actors would pretend not to hear him, the Royal Shakespeare Company Production does it in a similar way.

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