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How effectively do Roman Polansk, Orson Welles and Trevor Nunn Use a combination of sound and vision to create an atmosphere of evil and the supernatural at the beginning of their respective versions of Macbeth?

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Comparing 3 versions of Macbeth Introductions How effectively do; � Roman Polanski * Orson Welles * Trevor Nunn 1) Use a combination of sound and vision to create an atmosphere of evil and the supernatural at the beginning of their respective versions of Macbeth? 2) What differences in interpretation do you notice? Roman Polanski This is a modern representation of evil. The scene starts with a time lapse sequence, beginning with sunset into night, pulling through to sunrise. This style of scene opening makes it clear to us that the ritual has to take place at a certain time; early morning. A seagull breaks the silence, giving the scene an isolated feel. A title saying, `the tragedy of Macbeth' appears as the opening scene comes to an end. The camera moves to show a crooked stick make a mark in the sand, and then three pairs of hands begin to dig a hole in a very hurried way. This gives a mysterious effect as it isn't obvious at this moment what exactly is happening. The camera now shoes us the three witches that are digging the hole, they are breathless which gives the impression they aren't in the best of health. We see a full facial view of the witches as they begin to chant their rituals. They are traditional looking witches, one has a crooked nose and they have bent figures, mumbling voices, facial warts and black clothing. ...read more.


This is a very stereotypical vision of witches. The camera now cuts to show a cauldron. We cannot see the witches; just their arms stirring the bubbling liquid and the three voices chanting. As the chanting gets stronger and louder, the witches begin to throw in the ingredients for their `Hell Broth,' of which look very much like so the innards of live creatures. The stormy atmosphere hides the figures so we are left with the silhouettes of the three wicked women on the rocky outcrop. Because we cannot see the witches' faces, there is added mystery. The last part of the scene shows three pairs of ugly hands indulging into the cauldron whilst whispering their parts of the chant. The women have hoarse voices, this shows they are in bad health. Welles selects language to add to the mystery, the chanting is clearly some part of their ritual. The way the witches can induce their hands in the boiling liquid, pain free indicates even more evil and supernatural powers. When the chanting had died down, the three pairs of hands dig out a decapitated voodoo doll and all in harmony say a rousing, "MACBETH!" Their cackling voices seem content with the ritual. This sounds very evil and puts the audience at discomfort. After the words `Macbeth,' the camera zooms out to show three witches standing on the pinnacle of a cliff. ...read more.


Trevor Nunn used surrealism to demonstrate his interpretation. He very effectively used shots of the good praying, inter cut with the evil ritual. This made evil look worse. Each version has traditional witches, three women, one very old, one old and one younger. This shows generations and the oldest woman is the most experienced. Trevor Nunn and Orson Welles don't completely show the faces of the characters in full light, they are always in shadow or silhouette. This tells us there is something unknown and that we cannot tell what is going on in someone's mind through the face. In Trevor Nunn's version we see the kings face because it shows he is pure and innocent. Each version of "Macbeth" is different but there are a few small parts in each version that are the same. For example there were three generations of witches, they all wear black and look dirty. I found Roman Polanski's version the most effective; it is modern and from the start it is clear that the three witches are doing some form of ritual, this is due to the time lapse. The objects placed in the hole grasped the audiences' attention and the three different ages of the witches were clear and it showed the youngest witch caring for the oldest, wisest one. The eerie music gives the scene a cold chill and the gust of wind that brings the scene to an end makes the situation look mysterious, as the witches appear to be disappearing when the sand is blown over the camera. ...read more.

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