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Having analysed closely the opening scene of

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Macbeth Having analysed closely the opening scene of "Macbeth", examine two versions. Decide which is the most effective and give detailed reasons for your choice. Shakespeare wrote "Macbeth" for James I of England. It is based around the story of one of James I's ancestors. "Macbeth" is a popular and widely known tragedy. It is a short but very powerful play. It is filled with murder, mystery and a constant battle between good and evil. The main character in the play is Macbeth, a worthy and noble thane of Scotland who is a courageous and feared warrior. Upon hearing the witches prophesy that he shall be king, Macbeth and his wife set out on a malicious plan to kill the noble king Duncan. The witches did not tell Macbeth to kill Duncan but he decides that this is the quickest way to become king. Macbeth does indeed kill Duncan and become the king of Scotland, but in doing so he loses friends, respect, his wife and eventually his own life. In "Macbeth" there are four main themes, ambition, supernatural, trust and a constant battle between good and evil. ...read more.


Shakespeare was very clever in not introducing Macbeth in the first scene, Shakespeare only mentions him, and this will arouse suspicion over why the witches want to meet with Macbeth. I will now compare two productions of "Macbeth", one by Roman Polanksi and the other by Trevor Nun. Roman Polanksi's version of "Macbeth" is a film with special effects. It begins with an amazing sunrise that is bright red; this perhaps could suggest death or blood being spilled. The bright red sky turns into an overpowering cold blue colour. This may suggest hostility or a cold death. The first scene is set on a lonesome beach, again with cold blue colours to give a feeling of loneliness. A single seagull flies in the sky, thus again making the beach appear barren and deserted. The camera zooms in on the ground and the first thing we see is the end of a stick, as the camera zooms out we see the stick is long, twisted and being held by a blind witch, who draws a circle in the sand with it. The other two witches then begin digging in an animal like fashion with their hands. ...read more.


To this she answers after a short pause to create suspense, "Macbeth" .This is news to Harte, but news that she approves of, smiling and nodding her head. Duncan prays throughout the whole of the first scene, while in contrast the witches chant. Duncan is dressed in pure white, representing kind and goodness. The witches are dressed in black, suggesting evil. This is to demonstrate the constant conflict between good and evil. The witches finish their part and leave the stage, Duncan is still on stage saying the "agnes dei" and also "mea culpa". This means "my sins" it is almost as if Duncan is being shown as a Christ like figure, asking for forgiveness for not his own sins but those of his subjects. The fact that Duncan's prayer lasted longer than the witches chants may suggest that, in the end, good will defeat evil. I think that the production by the RSC is the most effective in portraying the story of Macbeth. Nunn makes effective use of the stage and the appearance of the characters is highly intriguing. Nunn does not stray as far from the text as Polankski does and I feel this gives a more authentic atmosphere. He has also effectively put across the theme of good verses evil. ...read more.

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