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

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

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Macbeth: Act 3, Scene 4 'The Banquet Scene' Interpretations on Video Macbeth, one of Shakespeare's greatest plays, has been portrayed in various different ways on film: in the more traditional style of Roman Polanski's 1972 film and in the more contemporary 1998 film, made by Channel 4 and directed by Michael Bogdanov. One of the most interesting scenes in the play is the 'Banquet Scene' in which King Macbeth is publicly and supernaturally confronted by his sins - the ghost of his former friend Banquo, who was present when first Macbeth learned of his destiny from the We�rd Sisters. Macbeth feels that Banquo knows too much and suspects him for the murder of King Duncan as shown by 'and I fear/ Thou played'st most foully for't'. Macbeth's only answer is to have Banquo murdered by paid assassins. Since the murder of Duncan, Macbeth has entrenched himself in even more murderous means of achieving his aims - such as the murder of Banquo and the murderers - the ends justify the means in a very machiavellian way. In Roman Polanski's film, the Banquet Scene is interestingly cut up into four separate consecutive scenes: firstly the beginning of the banquet, with all the customary entertainments, then Macbeth leaves the room to speak with the murderers, and the murderers are dispatched, next the main 'Banquet Scene' followed with the Macbeths in bed. ...read more.

Middle

The next 'mini' scene is the Macbeths in their bed after the night's festivities. The room is flooded with an eerie blood-like red light, reminiscent of the dawn, which may signify that the Macbeths are still plagued with insomnia. It is also an omen still believed today: 'red sky in the morning, shepherd's warning'. By dividing the scene into four separate parts, Polanski emphasises the continuity of the Macbeth's life despite their supernatural and bloody predicament. In Michael Bogdanov's Channel 4 version of Macbeth, he tries to create a version that is more palatable to the audience the film caters for. By setting it in a contemporary world, he creates a modern-day Macbeth, using imagery of the twentieth century to clarify certain points in the text. The scene is set in a huge room with a cathedral-like quality, it seems to be in a state of faded grandeur: perhaps reflecting the dereliction caused by the expensive war that begins the play. In place of the altar, if the room was a cathedral, is the throne of Macbeth - a comment on Macbeth's crime of regicide (believed to be a crime against god). The dress is extremely formal, modern-day White Tie. ...read more.

Conclusion

The versions differ also in that in the 1972 version the ghost appears only once, in a broken up sequence, whereas in the 1998 version the ghost appears twice in a more textual, sophisticated manner. The 1972 version remains literal and staidly conventional throughout the film. In my opinion, both films are equally effective. The 1998 version portrays the all-important 'Banquet Scene' as a contemporary dinner party that goes horribly wrong, and the horror-movie quality of the ghost gives the film a really good way of expressing the play in all its glory. The 1972 version remains mostly faithful to the text and to the original staging of the play and is as Shakespeare would have wished his play to be staged. The sheer, unadulterated goriness of the ghost piques most viewer's interest, and the traditional costume as well as the breaking up of the scene give the film a more realistic sequence, instead of the 1998 sophisticated, and yet carefully staged acting. Both films are, however, very well directed and staged and give a really good interpretation of the text, which is enjoyable to people who have both read the text and those who have not. Francesca Lewis UVS, English Coursework Essay. 1.11.02 ...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 ...

    The conversation is listened to by Fleance as he holds the torch between them. Banquo does not seem eager to talk to Macbeth about a reward, and Macbeth begins to look worried. They enter the bedroom and Macbeth exits after saying goodnight to Banquo and Fleance.

  2. Macbeth Film Comparison

    The wide shot could also be showing us the "bigger picture"- that there are many little thing that make up the plot of Macbeth, and this is just one little thing on a wide, open beach. Geoffrey Wright's film does not include many wide- angle shots in the first few scenes.

  1. Lady Macbeth's Character in Macbeth.

    Therefore, the reader can conclude that Shakespeare portrays darkness to establish the evil parts of the play; whereas, we employ daylight to define victory or goodness in the play. We have known blood to all of us to represent life, death and often injury.

  2. Polanski's film version of 'Macbeth' is a very effective interpretation of the play.

    Although there is a sunrise, there is never a sign of the sun. This suggests something is going to take place, which is exceptional and unnatural. There is also a suggestion that there is no warmth in this scene, which again brings back a feeling of unnaturalness.

  1. Write an analysis of two different film interpretations of 'Macbeth' exploring dramatic qualities, social, ...

    We only get a short glimpse of the fight scene, but from what we see and the accompanying fast paced music the director chooses to use gives us the impression that the fight is both brutal and savage. Once the robbery is complete, Macbeth reports back to Duncan in the local pub.

  2. Compare and contrast two different film versions, of Shakespeare's Macbeth.

    The actors of Macbeth and Banquo act out the whole ghost scene very well. The use of the fake blood and the white makeup makes the ghost seem so real, as you can clearly see the contrast between the living and the dead, with the strong colour differences.

  1. Task: Compare and contrast the repersentation of women in "Macbeth" and the two film ...

    next king they turn against the present king in order to fulfil the witches' prediction. It was also believed that if you betrayed the King it was like betraying God and by doing so you yourself would die in the same way.

  2. How does Lady Macbeths sleep walking scene relate to earlier parts of the play? ...

    He wanted to prove that he was a great man and he was able to kill off the battlefield as well as on. 'What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account?' This was Lady Macbeth speaking about how that even if some one

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