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As A Director With Use Of Modern Theatrical Practices, How Would You Stage Act IV, Scene I In Macbeth To Maximum Effect?

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Introduction

As A Director With Use Of Modern Theatrical Practices, How Would You Stage Act IV, Scene I In Macbeth To Maximum Effect The play 'Macbeth� was written by William Shakespeare in 1606 and is thought to have been written for King James I. The play was found by Shakespeare in 'The History of Scotland' and in there it was suggested that Banquo had helped Macbeth in the killing of Duncan but Shakespeare cleverly left this out as King James I was an ancestor of Banquo and the thought of regicide in his family would have killed Shakespeare's career and most probably, he would have been killed himself. For maximum effect, I believe the best stage for this play would be a proscenium arch. This is so the actors will always be facing the audience and when the apparitions happen, the audience will not be able to see being the gauze and alter which would spoil the effect given. Also the audience's seat will not go that high up for the same reason. Originally, the audience should react normally to the acting going on, then when Macbeth enters with thunder booming about, and I feel like this should scare the audience to show that something bad is going to happen. Throughout the Apparitions I think the audience should feel a small bit of fear but I expect them to really understand what is happening on stage so the fear cannot be too strong. I believe fear is an important feeling as it symbolizes that something evil is happening on stage. At the same time I want the audience to be excited and on the edge of their seat, wondering what is going to happen next. In this scene Macbeth again visits the witches who he thinks are helping him. The Witches are of course evil characters and don't have his good at heart. This is a fault of Macbeth�s, as he doesn't realize the Witches are evil an thinks he is unbeatable until it is too late and Macduff, with the help of Malcolm, has rallied support to overthrow him. ...read more.

Middle

The thunder and lighting will alert the audience that something important is happening. When Macbeth speaks he will have a deep, booming voice. Clearly belonging to the higher orders although now and again in his dialogue his voice will wobble and break into that of an underling, like the Stereotypical voice of the witches. His voice will do this when he speaks of murder or of other foul acts he has committed. This means that it will happen mainly after Lennox has informed him of Macduff's flight to England. This will show the audience that Macbeth would be a strong (Psychologically) man if he could stand up to the handling and dishonesty of the Witches. When the witches speak to Macbeth they will not do so in a dissident manner as they will consider themselves to be his equal, as they know they have power over him. Shakespeare also reveals something by making them speak in blank verse, the manner usually reserved for upper class characters. Possibly the witches really are upper class characters? This is why I have decided to portray the witches as possible subjects of Macbeth. Shortly before the first apparition appears the 3 witches all speak together. I think this (Come high or low: Thyself and office deftly show.) should be spoken softly, inviting Macbeth to 'follow' them in the abyss. Then I shall have the stone alter to make an exploding sound and a bolt of lightning should fill the stage up with light. Then I would establish the gauze to its bursting effect. The whole area in front of the gauze would be blacked out apart from the dim spotlight still on Macbeth, as it is he who is being shown the apparition. The light behind the gauze will be a dreary grey/white glow and will appear rather dusty. Then as if from nowhere the first apparition will appear. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Witches will now begin to smile and look pleased with their work. They will begin to mock Macbeth with the song they will sing and the first Witch praises Macbeth as a 'great king� in a voice of mock worship. Once more the audience will realise that Macbeth has no power over the Witches and how they are the real evil in the play. The Witches dance and vanish (the lights will go out again). When the lights come back on they will be noticeably brighter due to the departure of the Witches, showing that the Witches were really evil. Macbeth will be shouting out his lines while on his knees about how the Witches have abandoned him when Lennox enters accompanied by a messenger who will be muddy and look tired. In his hand he will be carrying a large leather bag. This man will be the messenger that Lennox will inform Macbeth about. Macbeth will still have his dim spotlight on him but Lennox will have a bright light, his uniform/armor will be clean and shining, showing that Lennox has not fallen from grace as Macbeth has. Lennox will inform Macbeth of Macduff who has fled to England to bring back an army. This will lead to Macbeth�s final soliloquy of this scene. During this Macbeth will speak of his plans to murder Macduff. He will pace around the front stage whilst Lennox walks towards the back of the stage to talk with the messenger so it doesn't look like that Lennox can actually hear what Macbeth is saying. Macbeth should look flustered and angry, he should look as if he has lost all sanity and means of rational thought, showing the audience that in this one scene Macbeth has gone from a murderer to a madman and is still plummeting to worse things. The spotlight over Macbeth will start to fade until it eventually is put out permanently. This is to show there is no way back for Macbeth now. ...read more.

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