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

Consider the dramatic significance of Act 3 Scene 4, 'The Banquet Scene', with reference to the BBC 2 stage production, and Roman Polanski's film on Macbeth.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Consider the dramatic significance of Act 3 Scene 4, 'The Banquet Scene', with reference to the BBC 2 stage production, and Roman Polanski's film on Macbeth. The scene opens with Macbeth talking to the Lords at the banquet he has thrown to celebrate his coronation. The Lords thank him for this and then Macbeth then talks about how he would, "mingle with society" rather than be a dictator. In the BBC 2 stage production, the most striking aspects at the opening are that the banquet hall is very dark and only the 'top table' is shown through the entire scene, so we really don't get the impression that it's a proper banquet as such. Also Macbeth has an extremely dominating voice and the characterisation is quite befitting of a king. he appears to be a strong leader from our first impressions. In Polanski's film, there is much more artistic licence because the film isn't faced with the restrictions that a stage production is. As such, the banquet hall is will lit and the hall is filled with guests and slaves. Also there is bear bating in a characterisation of line 100, 'Approach thou like the rugged Russian bear'. This is proof of the greater artistic licence that Polanski's version has, as they can even have live animals on set. A close up of Macbeth is used at this point showing him enjoying the scene, and this portrays the savagery of the human world. ...read more.

Middle

In Polanski's production there is a physical manifestation of the ghost in Macbeth's seat. It is a very graphic image and is meant to be disturbing; it again shows the greater artistic licence that is available to Polanski. In the BBC 2 production, the ghost is just an empty space which only Macbeth can see. This could possibly be more effective however for the viewer as he/she is forced to use their imagination to visualise the ghost and the imagination can be more powerful than a visual phenomenon. It is at this point in the film version that Macbeth drops his goblet on the floor and immediately a servant falls to his knees to clear the spillage. This shows us the power of Macbeth, and more importantly it symbolises the spilling of blood that has dominated Macbeth's rise to power. The slave wiping it up is symbolic of the way that Macbeth is able to cover up all that he has done. We see through Macbeth's shouting at the ghost of Banquo that he still has guilt and that despite the fact that he has committed the most dreadful sins, he is still human. It could be said that Banquo's ghost is a manifestation of all of Macbeth's guilt. It is because of his humanity that he has the fit. Lady Macbeth is quick to make and excuse for her husbands shouting at the ghost of Banquo ('...my lord is often thus, And hath been from his youth: pray you keep your seat'). ...read more.

Conclusion

Macbeth asks his wife, 'What is the night?' and his wife replies, 'Almost at odds with morning, which is which.' This stems from the opening of the play with the fair is foul and foul is fair theme. This comment about the time is very symbolic. Just as the twighlight is in the sky as they speak, and dark is 'battling' with the light of the morning, the forces of good and evil are duelling in Macbeth's head. This is shown immediately when Macbeth asks whu Macduff wasn't present at the banquet. Macbeth is now targetting his comrade. Macbeth then talks about what he will do about the vision he had. He decides that he will go and see the witches, and when he says, 'And betimes I will-to the weird sisters:', he is accepting the evil that has infiltrated him. He now thinks that it will be easier to continue with the blood shed, rather than seek redemption for the murders that he has already committed. he hints that there may be voices controlling him. Lady Macbeth's response is one of worry, ('You lack the season of all natures, sleep'). This is a homely remedy rather than one which will make any real difference. Lady Macbeth cannot understand the evil any more, and she is out of her depth. This is the start of the breakdown of their relationship. The most chilling aspect of this scene comes right at the end. Macbeth says, 'We are but young in deed', and this shows us that there may be more heinous crimes to come in the play. ...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 (Analysis of The Banquet Scene)

    He does not known at this point whether his plan to eliminate Banquo has succeeded, and so Macbeth could be unsure of his position. When Macbeth leaves the table to converse with the murderer, Lady Macbeth makes sure he goes back to the table and almost pleads with Macbeth saying,' the sauce to meat...

  2. The Dramatic Effectiveness of Act 3 Scene 4 - The Banquet Scene

    Macbeth talk's unaware of the ghost's presence of how he had hoped that Banquo had attended the banquet, yet through the use of dramatic irony the audience knew of Banquo's murder yet the characters at the banquet did not. 'Were the graced person of our Banquo present, Who may I rather challenge for unkindness Than pity for mischance.'

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

    He is trying to get rid of Banquo, without making him suspicious. The conversation between Macbeth and Banquo seems awkward to me. Now that Macbeth has a higher status than Banquo, due to his promotion to Thane of Cawdor, he acts as if he is far superior to his old friend, Banquo.

  2. Macbeth Film Comparison

    Hair is an important part of first impressions- in Polanski's film, Macbeth's hair is not shown in the introduction, and is hidden by a chainmail hood. This could hint at Macbeth being sheltered from evil and guarded due to his hood acting as a "safety blanket".

  1. Free essay

    Act 3, Scene 4 (The Banquet Scene)

    Macbeth has become trapped and he is not sorry, in fact he's self-pitying, "I had else been perfect" Macbeth's fear is conveyed by the powerful rhythm of the poetry on lines 21 to 25. It very strong with one constant beat after another.

  2. Macbeth Act 2, Scene 1~2, How does Shakespeare create dramatic tension in these scenes?

    The commanding, controlling nature of Lady Macbeth is felt again by the audience through the use of the imperative, "go carry them...smear the sleepy grooms with blood". Macbeth refuses, "look on't again I daren't not". The brutality of the murder is hinted at due to his lack of willing to return to the scene of the crime.

  1. How does Shakespeare make the banquet scene dramatic for the audience?

    He has a brief word with his wife before starting a new conversation about food. It is this haste, in his guilt, as he tries to erase the murder from his mind that seems to make Banquo's ghost appear.

  2. What is the Significance of the Witches in Macbeth?

    This darkness links back to the witches and their themes of black, dark evil. Animals are flying in strange patterns - such as owls and horses who are behaving uncontrollably. Because Macbeth acted on the witches influence, we see that it isn't just Duncan who has been affected; nature has as well.

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