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I am going to examine the two different ways that the witches are presented in the film versions by Trevor Nunn and by Roman Polanski.

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Introduction

I am going to examine the two different ways that the witches are presented in the film versions by Trevor Nunn and by Roman Polanski. In the very first scene of Roman Polanski's version of "Macbeth" (which does not take place at all in the play) the picture fades in and you see the witches on the beach. There are three witches, a younger one, a middle aged one and an elderly one. The youngest one is sort of good looking and she is wearing a light grey costume. the middle aged one is wearing a darker grey costume and the eldest witch is wearing a black costume and even though she is blind she seems to be in charge of the other two younger witches, I think that this is suggested because she is older in my opinion, this means that the older she is, the more experienced in the dark arts. This would have a greater effect on Shakespeare's Globe theatre audience than it would have on us as an audience today and this is because in Shakespeare's time there was still a strong belief in witchcraft and there was still people being burnt at the stake. ...read more.

Middle

Then they cover the hole up and pour blood out onto where they had buried the objects; "For brave Macbeth-well he deserves that name-distaining Fortune, with his brandished steel which smoked with bloody execution." And I think that this symbolises the blood that is being spilt at the minute at the war and that is about to be spilt during the course of the play, then they all spit onto the blood and this is to seal the spell with their own spittle. After they finish digging and said their: "Where shall we three meet again?" speech they walk off into the mist and disappear but the Younger witch and the middle aged witch left together and the elder witch left separately and I think that this is because maybe the youngest witch is an apprentice and She has to stay with the middle aged witch because she is only learning her way in the Dark arts. This version just does not work very well for me, because when I watched this version I laughed when the witches spat on the blood and this version just seemed too stereotypical for my liking. ...read more.

Conclusion

Their costumes were still very rugged and very wild but the witches appearances were not the same in both of the performances because in Nunn's version there are two youngish witches and the one that was about ten years older. She seemed to be controlling the things that were going on within the spell and she was directing the other two witches as to what to do. This version, for me works better than Polanski's version because their make-up is not as over the top and I think that Nunn's version is the better of the two at presenting the witches because I think that Polanski's version is too stereotypical. So, in conclusion both productions have very different perceptions of the witches. They are both very effective and convincing as to the power of the witches. Neither of them is better than each other but they are both very effective and different ideas of how to present this great play. Differences of the presentation of the witches in the two film versions of William Shakespeare's "Macbeth" 1 Chris McCormick 12ER ...read more.

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