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

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Introduction

Consider the dramatic significance of Act 3 Scene 4, 'The Banquet Scene', with reference to the BBC stage production, and Roman Polanski's film on Macbeth. Throughout this scene we can see that both versions have been created to show the best interpretation of the play Macbeth. Polanski's version is more realistic but I feel that it does not show the play in the way in which Shakespeare had intended as this version was created by a film producer who had added extra scenes and changed lines for some of the characters. He also used special effects which made the play more of a viewing pleasure and helped create the realistic effect. The BBC version is less realistic as it was a low budget production and was stage produced. In this production there where no attempt to create a detailed set which left it to the viewer to imagine the details of the scene. This made it harder to understand and to know what was going on. The BBC version uses only Shakespeare's lines and has no extra scenes. Therefore it is more authentic and true to Shakespeare's vision although it is limited by the knowledge and understanding of the viewer who may not be able to understand all that Shakespeare was trying to indicate or tell. ...read more.

Middle

When Ross asks the king to grace the subjects with, 'your royal company', Macbeth remarks that the table is full, because at this point the ghost of Banquo has already entered and has taken Macbeth's seat at the table. Lennox points to Macbeth's reserved seat but Macbeth then says 'Where?' he sees that the seat is occupied. Lennox asks him, 'What is't that moves your highness?', and Macbeth realises that this is the ghost of Banquo who is sitting in his seat. 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 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 visualize 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 symbolizes the spilling of blood that has dominated Macbeth's rise to power. ...read more.

Conclusion

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 why 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.

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