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The presentation of the witches in the opening scenes is crucial to the atmosphere of Macbeth. Compare how act 1, scenes (1) and (3) are presented in two different versions of the play. Which do you feel makes the greater dramatic impact? Explain why.

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Introduction

The presentation of the witches in the opening scenes is crucial to the atmosphere of Macbeth. Compare how act 1, scenes (1) and (3) are presented in two different versions of the play. Which do you feel makes the greater dramatic impact? Explain why. Shakespeare is known all over the world for his advanced techniques in writing plays and the one I am studying is Macbeth. Macbeth was written for James the first, and was written because he was interested in witchcraft. In the 17th century witchcraft was frowned upon to say the least, and most people who practised witchcraft were burned at the stake. This was because society couldn't handle witchcraft; they were frightened of it. But nowadays people understand witchcraft and don't see it as a threat; they almost see it as thrilling and interesting. There have been many different interpretations and productions of the play and the two I have chosen are the BBCs version and a modern play by Anne Ross Muir. ...read more.

Middle

conveyed a sense of what the play was about and set it off for the rest of the play. In considering these several factors, the director has shown the introduction to have the essence of uncertainty. The viewer is unsure of what lies in store. When the video starts off with the witches and the gloomy scenes I felt a surge of fear to see the three witches arise from the heath, and then the camera slowly zoomed in to where the witches were lying. The camera slowly moved around the witches while they were sitting on a "Dolman" (a symbol for the supernatural). I had noticed that there were three witches, which symbolised the supernatural (the number 3 was associated with witchcraft). The way they stood in a triangle also symbolised a unity against normality. In the BBCs version the witches were from head to toe in rags. Their hair was looked like it had never been washed, their hands are filthy and im sure there was fungi growing between their nails. ...read more.

Conclusion

They are both startled by these strange creatures and demand them to talk "speak if you can. What are you"? They were even more surprised when the witches talked about prophecies of leadership ands power, they said "all hail Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter". While all of this was going on, Macbeth seemed shocked. However, Banquo took in all the prophecies, as a fair judge meant of what was to come. But the most important thing about all of this was the witches timing. Macbeth had just come from a bloody war making him susceptible to prophetic greeting. The witches were harbouring eviler ambitions that were already there and Macbeth was stupid enough to listen. The second version by Anne Ross Muir showed the modern day viewer how this play can be directed, by setting it in a different place. Anne Ross Muir had a difficult job of directing this play; she had to stick to most of the original text, yet she had to attract a modern day audience. The modern day audience she was looking to attract was an audience that lived witches to be associated with Halloween and not an audience that believed in witchcraft. ...read more.

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