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Comparing and Contrasting Two Versions of Macbeth

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Comparing and Contrasting Two Versions of Macbeth The two versions of Macbeth were made in different years. The BBC version was lower budget and set almost as if it is a play being performed on stage. The Polanski version was a big- budget film which is set in real, outdoor locations. However, though each film is very different, they are both adapted from Shakespeare's play. Sound is very important in a film; sound consists of three elements, these being dialogue, music and effects. In the BBC version of Macbeth, dialogue is the most important of these sound elements; this is because the BBC version is very closely related to Shakespeare's play. In the BBC version, sound is used to tell everything; there are very few sound effects and very little music. Conversely, in the Polanski version all three elements share important roles. While the BBC version follows Shakespeare's original script very closely, Polanski makes a number of changes to the script and sequence of events. ...read more.


Props add to any movie or play to make it more interesting. In this particular case, however, the props symbolic of what is to happen later in the play- gory murder. In the BBC the mise en scene is much simpler, being set more like a stage version- more dialogue, less scenery. In scene one there is only one setting. This scenery is much simpler and clearly filmed in a studio, it shows the witches situated on a rock in a dark area. The costumes the witches are wearing plain undistinguishing clothe: their black shawls are almost identical making the audience concentrate more on the dialogue, the mise en scene is a bonus, as opposed to in the Polanski version, where the mise en scene plays a more important role. Visuals are very important in both versions of Macbeth. In the BBC version there is only one shot in scene one, which makes it very similar to how it would be performed on stage. ...read more.


Colour is also important to portray the time of day. This is shown in the Polanski version at the beginning when it is dawn and the sky turns from red to blue, becoming brighter to show the sun rising. A red sky can also symbolise bad weather, as does the seagull later on. The saying goes: 'Red sky at night, shepherd's delight, red sky in the morning, shepherd's warning.' I think both versions are excellent stories of Macbeth. The BBC version is more like the original play and focuses on the literary content; the Polanski version contains more action. Both films are helpful in aiding students to understand the content and themes of the play because the BBC version is very similar to the original play- the speech is the same, however, the Polanski version is more cinematic which makes it more exciting and helps students to enjoy the play. I preferred the Polanski version because it is not completely directed on dialogue but also on action and scenery. I found this more interesting and more realistic than in the BBC version. ?? ?? ?? ?? Kira O'Sullivan ...read more.

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