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Macbeth, Act 1 Scene 1

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Introduction

Robert Nixon GCSE media - Macbeth, Act 1 Scene 1 This scene of Polanski's film "Macbeth" features 3 witches. He has to try and convey this to the audience that they are real witches, and has to make them appear that they are not normal people, because people would not understand who or what these people are, but also not so they are stereotypically like a witch that the audience would find them comical. In Shakespeare's time, witches were believed to exist as real people that lived in communities in England and Scotland, so when it was performed on stage in those times, it was not hard to convince the audience they were witches. Then, witches were perceived by society as evildoers and were responsible for crops failing or other such things that they could not explain, so they used witches as scapegoats to blame it on. Many thousands of people were executed for such deeds, despite there not being any proof of them doing anything. Nowadays, witches are perceived very differently than the way they used to. They are now regarded as figures of a comical nature, often imagined to have pointy hats, broomsticks and pet cats, and appear in such things as fairy tales and pantomimes. This is why Polanski must be wary of these stereotypes, as he wants the audience to realise that these are people who are evil, and not something to be laughed at. ...read more.

Middle

These people appear as witches to the audience because of they're worn and raggedy appearance. They don't wear the kind of clothes that you would expect a normal person to wear. This is a tool Polanski uses to try and identify to the audience that these people are witches. The shot now widens out to be able to fit all the witches into view. It then quickly cuts to a solitary seagull flying all on it's own. This shows that there is not a lot of life around this area, as otherwise there would be a whole flock of seagulls, instead of just one, and that there is no reason for anyone, even witches, to be there. Now, it goes back to a close up of the witches. One of them pulls out a hangman's noose and throws it into the hole. This is mysterious, and intrigues the audience into wondering what it is or why this is so. This may make the viewer pay more attention - a useful trick utilised by Polanski. The witches then begin to remove things from a cart that they have brought with them. The camera zooms in to what they are taking out. At this point, the witches' faces have been covered by their hair. Could this also be to intrigue the viewer? Then, the camera zooms in and the witches reveal their faces. ...read more.

Conclusion

This could make the audience think that if these witches have been doing all these nasty things out in this beach, imagine what would happen if they meet someone - would they cut his hand off aswell? These are all questions that could be answered later on in the film, making the viewer watch it to find these things out. Finally, we see a long shot of the witches walking out onto the beach into the distance, with the camera staying at one spot while the witches slowly fade away. Then, as they are entering the distance, CGI clouds cover the screen, and the word "Macbeth" comes up in a big font. As I said before, this scene creates a lot of mystery and wonder, which leads the audience to want to know what happens in the next scene, useful for Polanski to keep the audience interested. It also asks the question of how is Macbeth connected to these people? Maybe he is in with them, and the he is bad also, or that he is soon to be a victim of their evil deeds. In conclusion, I think Polanski has been quite successful with the way he has put this scene across, and how he has drawn the audience's attention to the film in the first scene. However, I think that in general it is too vague, and could possibly leave the audience feel bewildered and confused as to what is happening. ...read more.

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