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

Compare the opening scene of Macbeth by the Royal Shakespeare Company with that of Polanski's film production.

Extracts from this document...


Compare the opening scene of Macbeth by the Royal Shakespeare Company with that of Polanski's film production. Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's 'tragedies' and is a story of a struggle between good and evil. It is about a Thane of Scotland, also a commander in the army who murders his friend and King of Scotland, Duncan in his lust for power. Macbeth commits these crimes partly because of his wife's ambition and greed, in the end he is destroyed because he feels so guilty and is over ridden by fear. The story is an example of power at the expense of everything else, Macbeth begins the play as a strong character who is greatly admired by the people of Scotland, however as the play progresses Macbeth's personality and actions become more and more deceitful which eventually leads to his downfall. Following the murder of Duncan, Macbeth realises that this evil deed has put him into the control of demon forces which are the enemy of mankind therefore proving the witches prophecies to be correct, " But 'tis strange, and oftentimes, to win us to our harm, the instruments of darkness tell us truths; ...read more.


The characters sit on upturned packing crates and are all situated in a tight circle which I think represents the closeness of Macbeth with all his comrades, friends and people of Scotland before he has been overcome with the powers of evil and Lady Macbeth. After hearing the lonesome sea gull the camera begins with a 'long' shot showing the audience a vibrant red sky, this could hint to the unsuspecting audience that bloodshed is going to take place later on in the play. Polanski then proceeds with a 'zoom' shot of the witches where three creature like figures with long and dishevelled hair covered in warts appear on the screen with a sluggish trailing cart behind them. In the RSC stage production the first time we see the witches is after the light circles around the characters and zooms on to the witches in the centre of the stage, these spotlights create eerie feeling among the audience. The witches appear in a tranced manner making groaning sounds with saliva oozing from one of the witches mouths, They are dressed raggedly and look like peasants- this makes the audience wonder whether these things are ...read more.


The RSC Stage production involves the witches collapsing lazily on the stage floor, which is proceeded by the stage being left in darkness. When Macbeth would have been performed in Jacobean times the audience would have been watching the witches with extreme intensity as witch's were a symbol of pure evil and were feared by the people. A contemporary audience would have been extremely different as witches are no longer taken seriously. Polanski comes very close in his film version to the image of the witches that we are given by Banquo after his meeting with them. The people of Scotland admired Macbeth because he was good at killing and was an excellent warrior but when he kills Duncan he is aware of the consequences but when he put under scrutiny he can no longer keep his head together. I prefer Polanskis film production of Macbeth because of his imaginative use of vivid colour and the special effects used in creating the 'hag' like image of the witches that caught my eye straight away. Although the play Macbeth is full of misery it ends with a bright outlook when Macbeth is killed and Malcolm comes forward as hero. ...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. A comparison of the Dagger scene, Act 2, Scene 1, from 'Macbeth' as presented ...

    Macbeth goes to hug Fleance, but Fleance is fearful of Macbeth and seen as someone to be avoided. Fleance flinches away from him, to be closer to his father. Trevor Nunn decides to fix line 19 so that it is put to Fleance.

  2. Macbeth Film Comparison

    The King wears a crown- a symbol of true royalty, and his hair is uncovered- possibly showing that he is weak. Geoffrey Wright's adaptation also depicts the King as being weaker than the other characters when his hair colour is looked at.

  1. Comparing two film versions of Macbeth, Roman Polanski's 1972 film and Michael Bogdanov's 1998 ...

    'Which of you has done this? ...Never shake thy gory locks at me!' cries Macbeth as the Lords rise at Ross's command. Lady Macbeth stands and reassures the Thanes 'Sit worthy friends. My lord is often thus...' she makes her way over to the white and shaking Macbeth.

  2. Orson Welles' version of the opening scene of MacBeth has some major differences than ...

    Witches are generally associated with bogs and moors Polanski uses a beach he also only uses two witches to talk perhaps he wants us to believe that evil perpetuates itself with time as it is only the younger of the three witches that talk.

  1. Consider the dramatic significance of Act 3 Scene 4, 'The Banquet Scene', with reference ...

    This again points to the savagery of Macbeth. The play continues with Lady Macbeth telling off her husband for neglecting his guests. She says that the banquet has gone 'flat' due to his absence and forces his return. On his return Lennox asks Macbeth to sit, but before he goes

  2. Roman Polanski's Macbeth

    However, in the plotting of the murder, she is shown to be the dominant one. When Macbeth tells her that they will 'proceed no further in this business,' she thinks him a coward, and questions him 'Was the hope drunk, wherein you dress'd yourself?

  1. With reference to the written Macbeth text, to the R.S.C's 1967 production and the ...

    The music is loud, unpleasant and does not seem to have any particular pattern. This contrasts well with the pleasant, free flowing and heavenly music, which accompanies the good people in the film. This works very well as in the original text Shakespeare did not use music as affectively or

  2. Comparing the presentation of the opening scene of Macbeth by the Royal Shakespeare Company ...

    The thunder and lightning alone give it a dramatic opening, which grabs the interest of the audience, as it is representative of evil. These dramatic sound effects help to set the eerie and supernatural atmosphere that Shakespeare wanted to create along with the witches.

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