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Study three dramatised interpretations of Macbeth

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Introduction

English Coursework Macbeth In this assignment I will study three dramatised interpretations of Macbeth and will analyse how successfully the directors were able to transfer script to stage. I will study the effectiveness of the witches and say if they are effective in today's modern society which isn't threatened by witchcraft. This first scene in "Macbeth" is crucial as it sets the atmosphere and the scene for the play. It introduces characters before we even get to meet them, for example Macbeth. It fascinates and astounds the audience also disturbing them as I discovered in Orson Welle's interpretation. The scene suggests things that occur later on in the play. It also suggests a presence of evil. Is Macbeth in charge of his destiny as he echoes the witches words, "fair and foul" later on in the play. Is everything as it seems? The three productions that I will study for this piece of coursework are: * Orson Welle's (film 1930s) * Roman Polanski (film 1971) and * BBC Shakespeare shorts (video production 1998) In the original text of Macbeth, Shakespeare opens his play in "an open place." We notice that in each of the different productions, each director picks a different location for this first scene e.g. cliff top, beach and a warehouse, but in each setting the locality is still an "open space". ...read more.

Middle

She is young, has blond hair and appears to do all the work. The only noticeable thing is the fact that she doesn't talk. Maybe she can't or she may be in the process of learning from the other two older witches. The first sound we hear is a noise from a seagull, we then hear coughing from one of the witches. In the background there appears to be a bell sound that takes the effect of wind or whistles in the distance. This adaptation ends at the words, "there to meet with Macbeth." In the chant the witches put items in the hole they dug with their bare hands. A noose went in first followed by a hand in which a dagger had been placed. The witches sprinkled herbs over the objects and then covered up the hole with the sand. The first witch got a bottle of blood and poured it over the hole. Then the witches chanted, "fair is foul and foul is fair, hover through the fog and filthy air." Next they spat three times to seal the spell. At this, the witches walked off as the third witch pulls the first as she is blind while the second walks quite independently along side the cart. It ends with a long camera shot as the witches disappear as fog comes in and covers the beach. The final piece that I studied was a production by the BBC for Shakespeare shorts. ...read more.

Conclusion

I liked the location for this scene, as it was effective for the purpose. The deserted beach and the atmosphere gave the effect that a storm had just ended. In the Orson Well's production, I would agree that the directors succeed in creating a surreal effect by using powerful images and music. This piece was disturbing and frightening as they created this baby but they just ripped the clay apart to reveal it. We would associate gentleness and caring with a baby and not violence In the BBC Shakespeare Shorts production, the director of this version co-mingled a number of scenes for example; the first scene was co-mingled with the second and third one. Macbeth doesn't enter until the second scene but he arrives in the helicopter towards the end of the first one. I preferred this version, as it seems more realistic than the others. The witches wore modern clothes instead of the stereotypical rags and they weren't ugly as they are often portrayed in other productions. In this adaptation I enjoyed the way the directors created a spiritualistic effect by using tarot cards and the fact that they placed these in a pentacle (star). I also liked the whole universalism idea in the way that the witches came from different cultures and groups. The only thing that I didn't agree with was the use of the mask in the centre of the pentacle, as it seemed to defy the purpose to overcome Macbeth by using their sexual power. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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