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Compare Duncan’s Murder and the Banquet scene

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Macbeth After reading Macbeth, I watched videos of two very different adaptations of Shakespeare's play, a BBC theatre production and a low budget movie. The BBC production was filmed on stage, was traditional and true to the play, the movie, "Macbeth on the Estate" was a modern interpretation along the lines of the recent film "William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet". It was set, not in Scotland, but on Birmingham's Ladywood estate; The characters were all members of street gangs, drug dealers and criminals, not Scottish nobility; The weird sisters became weird children; Although most of the principal characters were played by professional actors, over a hundred local people from the estate took part, some in speaking roles; The director was a documentary film-maker, not a theatre or even a TV drama director ant the play was cut to an hour and twenty minutes in length. Although I enjoyed the BBC version I preferred the modern film. I thought that its setting in an urban estate worked very well and helped me to understand the play and the roles of the characters more easily. The two scenes I have to compare are Duncan's Murder and the Banquet scene. Duncan's Murder In the traditional play, we find Macbeth and his wife plotting to kill the king. Macbeth is obviously scared of committing murder and it is Lady Macbeth who proves to be stronger, persuading him to hide his fear, "Your hand, your tongue, look like the' innocent flower, but be the serpent under't, and take Duncan's life". ...read more.


Macbeth begins to the mirror; this shows that he is talking to his inner soul in a dilemma over the murder. "Bloody instructions, which being taught return to plague th' inventor". Again Lady Macbeth questions Macbeth's manhood and threatens that she will leave him if he does not carry out the murder. Duncan has had too much to drink and is carried to bed by Lady Macbeth. Macbeth imagines seeing a dagger, which is leading him up to Duncan's room. Music provides a tense atmosphere as Macbeth goes to kill Duncan. The murder is a quite gory and shows Macbeth sticking a knife in his neck and the blood gushing out of the wound. On his way out of the room he meets Lady Macbeth who tells Macbeth she could not have killed Duncan. "Had he not resembled my father as he slept, I had done't." They now know what they have done is wrong. Macbeth's life is now ruined and so is Lady Macbeth's. Banquet Scene In the traditional version this scene is particularly well acted as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth welcome the guests to the banquet. Then the first of Macbeth's hired murderers reports (he is covered in blood) that Banquo has been killed but that Fleence escaped in the confusion. Macbeth's face shows signs of disappointment but he is glad that Banquo is dead. ...read more.


In this scene the audience is able to see the ghost as Macbeth pictures one of his thanes to be Banquo. Banquo is bloody faced and is mocking Macbeth; it is quite a gory scene. Macbeth sees Banquo dancing and Macbeth is angered he says, "If charnel houses and our graves must send those that we bury back, our monuments shall be the maws of kites". The thanes shake their heads at him thinking he has had too much to drink. Lady Macbeth brings Macbeth to the side of the bar and tries to calm him down. She says "O these flaws and starts, Impostors to true fear, would well become a woman's story at a winters fire". Macbeth returns and is about to make a toast but sees Banquo once again and collapses. He grabs a chair and chases one of his thanes who he believes is Banquo. The traditional play is a very good interpretation of the original play and is very well acted. An orchestra provides music that creates a tense and an unnatural atmosphere. I really liked the modern version and thought that it too was well acted. I preferred it to the original, as it was easier to understand the play and the relationship of the characters. The theme of gang warfare was very appropriate and helped demonstrated Macbeth's motives for killing Duncan. I think this type of modern interpretation is very good and would get more people to see the movie and if they liked it they would be more likely to read the original. ...read more.

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