• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Witches are an integral part of Macbeth. Discuss how two (or more) directors have presented these characters in Ii and Iiii.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Witches are an integral part of Macbeth. Discuss how two (or more) directors have presented these characters in Ii and Iiii. I have recently viewed a variety of productions of Shakespeare's play Macbeth. They differed greatly when compared to each other, as each director had their own individual approach to the play. I was sceptical of how some directors would comprehensively do justice to this classic play in an audio-visual version aimed at a modern audience. Each production had its own unique introduction, to set the theme for the remainder of Macbeth. In Polanski's film version, he opened the play with a scene containing the "three weird sisters" who are witches, chanting and conjuring spells on a beach, while they buried various objects. The beach is a vast area and there is no sign of life. This creates an eerie atmosphere as they entered into the scene. Prior to burying these objects they engraved a circle in the sand; a symbol of no weakness as a circle has no beginning and no end. Amongst these objects were a noose and a half an arm, clutching a dagger. From reading the text we see here that these objects are symbolic to the prophecies, and as they are associated with death and evil, raising the audience's suspicion about murder and death, and also set the theme for the rest of the production. ...read more.

Middle

This was strange as he had the ability to do so as he had the aid of filming. A reason for this may be because Polanski wanted to add a grave sense of mystery right at the beginning of the play. The BBC 1998 version introduces us to the three 'hags' as three pre-middle-aged women reading tarot cards in act 1 scene 1. This conveys the point that they do not mould the future for Macbeth but only interpret his destiny. Although this does not stay true to the text of Shakespeare, it is modernised to the extent where I find it more believable and frightening. The Witches have no physical abnormalities except the distinction of their long, curly painted nails to symbolise that they are different. The room was in complete shadow, and the only light was provided by a single candle. Maybe this represents the last remaining 'light' deep inside Macbeth, as when the candlelight ceases the room will become saturated with darkness as will Macbeth's soul. The three witches congregated to predict and foresee future events. Each Witch has an individual symbol presented on her face. This gives a sense that each Witch had been marked for a particular form of evil. This in turn shows how they are a covenant of true evil, as they had been assigned for a special task. ...read more.

Conclusion

As green is used to symbolise envy, maybe this is to show Macbeths envy towards Duncan and his status of king. This focus on props and setting however prevented an in-depth look into characterisation and dialogue. Also throughout the film Polanski was un-loyal to the text as his version focused a lot on visual settings and went into grave detail with the props and scenery. This made the film attractive to watch. This attention to scenery allowed Polanski to explore and portray the different settings we read about in the text such as the witches' world. To conclude, Polanski remained loyal to the text in as far as dialogue and character development was concerned, but his advantage of film was not taken advantage of as was displayed in his poor portrayal of the witches vanishing, or not as it were. I felt that the RSC version failed to do justice to Shakespeare's play as the director's incapability to stay true to the text was clearly shown in his/her production. The BBC production was also loyal to the text as all dialogue was used and this helped the director's conveyance of character development, yet I feel that in his attempt to modernise this Shakespearean world the director detracted from the essence so the play, and falsely illustrated the settings Shakespeare attempted to portray. Due to this, the BBC version was my preferred production of the opening scenes of Macbeth. ?? ?? ?? ?? Liam Mulholland 12.3 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Macbeth essays

  1. What is Shakespeare's purpose for the witches in Macbeth?

    In those days people were really gullible and believed everything they heard and saw. After the thunder and lightning the three witches come onto the stage. The witches are the first characters on stage so they set the scene and introduce the other characters ,they act a bit like the narrators and set the scene straight from the start.

  2. Macbeth The presentation of the witches in the opening scenes is crucial to the ...

    Throughout the production we gain a more thorough image of her and become more engrossed in the prophecies she speaks. Also the way the witches speak in this production has an effect as although the follow the original text the witches words rhyme, this makes us think of them as real witches casting spells "When the hurly - burly's done.

  1. How do the directors Trevor Nunn and Roman Polanski present Act I scenes I ...

    This shows the theme of good in Nunn's production. While Duncan is praying, a wounded soldier, who is shown with a close up shot with blood on his face, reports to Duncan about the fighting. Nunn shows the wounded soldier very well, as he doesn't speak properly and he has blood on his face.

  2. Comparison of two different productions of Macbeth

    In soliloquy one the actor who plays Macbeth uses more gestures and is much more dramatic than the RSC actor, but I didn't enjoy the way the BBC chose to act this. I thought it was over-acted and that is wasn't as well preformed.

  1. Compare the presentation of the opening scene of Macbeth by the Royal Shakespeare Company ...

    Next the camera cuts to Duncan who is frail and has to be helped to his feet by MacDuff. Duncan is dressed in white and begins to pray repeating the words 'mea culpa'. The camera now returns to a closup on the youngest witch who appears to be drooling and the other witches force her to the ground.

  2. What part do the witches play in Shakespeare's Macbeth?

    I think the lines that involve paradoxes, for example 'Fair is foul, and foul is fair' should be said clearly and more pronounced as this line, put another way, means good is bad and bad is good which shows the witches' evil as they are violating god's natural order.

  1. In this essay I will look at two different views on the production, "Macbeth," ...

    This maybe has something to do with the saying, "A red sky in the morning is a shepherds warning." This, again create suspense and also set the scene for the audience to inform them a little about the rest of the play.

  2. Study and compare two different film interpretations of Act 4 Scene 1 of Shakespeare's ...

    The portrayal of the witches in both films is varied, as both versions have strayed from Shakespeare's original idea of three old, wrinkly, women in the stereotypical costume of all black. In the Polanski version, he has stuck to the 'traditional' image but has a lot more than just three witches.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work