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Macbeth - Polanski’s version and Bogdanov’s version

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Macbeth Polanski's version and Bogdanov's version In Act our Scene 1 we are confronted with many of the themes of the play, which have already been introduced. The themes of the play are the supernatural, blood, good & evil, light & dark ambition, loyalty, love, kingship, corruption, justice and deception. The themes I am concentrating on are the supernatural element of the play and the portrayal of Macbeth himself. The theme of the supernatural occurs very prominently in Polanski's version but isn't as prominent in Bogdanov's version, and the element of Macbeth himself is presented in both versions of Macbeth, but they are presented differently as you will see. The theme of the supernatural in Polanski's interpretation gives more depth to the interpretation of Shakespeare's Macbeth. The setting of this scene is a major factor in giving the interpretation, which Shakespeare himself wanted to portray, because of the older props and the witches who look the way witches were expected to look like in the days of Shakespeare. In Polanski's version, the scene is set in a dark cave, positioned on a hillside. Darkness is a major theme in the whole of Macbeth, and it is again shown here in the jet-black skies of the night with the only light coming from the cave the witches inhabit. The musical soundtrack of the film sends an eerie feeling through the scene. ...read more.


We are therefore made to feel, that while the witches control Macbeth in Polanski's version, Macbeth in Bogdanov's version is in control over his own fate, and has been taken over by his own ambition and madness. The physical destruction presented to us by the use of the wasteland is representing the breakdown of old order and the moral chaos that Macbeth's actions have inevitably created. Supernatural elements are also taken from Bogdanov's version by speeding up the pace of the speech. This speeding up in the pace is supposed to add to the audience's expectations, but I think it takes away from the anxiety built up in Polanski's version with the slower speech. In Bogdanov's version, the horror/tragedy effect is taken out of this scene mainly because of the exclusion of the supernatural element. The fact that this scene is presented as a dream tells us that it is Macbeth's own madness that is driving Macbeth to extremes and not the witch's potion, which causes Macbeth to actually live the experience of seeing his fate. The lack of colour in Bogdanov's version adds to the dreamy effect. The only colour comes from the red-orange colour of the raging flames coming from the oil drum (cauldron). Due to the scene being black and white, Bogdanov may be trying to represent that only 1 in 4 people actually dream in colour. ...read more.


The setting of the scene is a lot more open due to it being positioned on a wasteland, and the witches are less threatening than the witches in Polanski's version. From analysing and comparing each version, I can say that I like Polanski's version much more. This is due to his more realistic interpretation of Shakespeare's Macbeth. Everything in his scene is what I would expect it to be in Macbeth's time. Even though Bogdanov seems to be more faithful to the original play in terms of the words. Polanski re-arranges the order of lines in the play, to reflect the chaos in Scotland at that time. Both interpretations of Macbeth are true to the original in different ways. Polanski's version is truer to the original in it's setting, realism and how all the characters and not only Macbeth are portrayed. Bogdanov's version is truer to the original in the use of the original script of the play, even though some lines are taken out, and also the amount of witches is true to original. I think that what Bogdanov was trying to show was that Shakespeare's themes are not only relevant to the times of Shakespeare, but hey are also relevant to the modern age where war, evil and sin still occur. I prefer Polanski's version because of how much Bogdanov's versions in my mind has strayed from the original. Polanski's version in my opinion, gives a better insight in to what Macbeths time was like and also to what Macbeth himself was like. ...read more.

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