• 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. Macbeth Film Comparison

    The King is shown as having very fair, blonde hair- again being a symbol of innocence and weakness. The witches in Polanski's film have different hairstyles- two have hoods- like Macbeth's but made of cloth, and one has dirty, unwashed brown hair.

  2. A comparison of the Dagger scene, Act 2, Scene 1, from 'Macbeth' as presented ...

    diegetic sounds and Macbeth snatches his hand back and wipes it on his robe. We are not shown Macbeth's face the whole time. There is an over the shoulder shot as we see Macbeth following the dagger towards Duncan. The dagger returns with blood on it and we hear dripping.

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

    at all?, it helps to convey the evilness of the witches, which is what Shakespeare, had intended. Macbeth was set in 1606 and the clothes used in Roman Polanski`s production I felt were very realistic and again worked well as it gave the viewer a better idea of what people where like back then and how they behaved.

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

    As Macbeth stares uncomprehendingly at the seat (which appears to the viewer as first full, than empty, as the thanes see it), the occupant turns his head, eyes shadowed with a pale hand, as though awaked from a nap. A cello makes highly discordant sounds as if to reflect the unnaturalness of the being's presence.

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

    A close up of Macbeth is used at this point showing him enjoying the scene, and this portrays the savagery of the human world. Macbeth is characterised as weaker than in the BBC version, and the actor is younger. Almost immediately the first murderer appears and starts to inform Macbeth

  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.

  1. 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.

  2. Roman Polanski's Macbeth

    This is mainly because of the strong pressures put on him by 'the weird sisters' (the three witches) and Lady Macbeth herself. The witches and their prophecies had already made Macbeth conspire to murdering King Duncan, but this was helped along by Lady Macbeth's ambition and want of power.

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