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I will be looking at and comparing two different film interpretations of act 3 scene 4 of Shakespeare's Macbeth. It has been adapted into several cinema and television versions

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GCSE English coursework In this essay I will be looking at and comparing two different film interpretations of act 3 scene 4 of Shakespeare's Macbeth. It has been adapted into several cinema and television versions. The two film versions I will be comparing the version directed by Roman Polanski, which was made in 1969 for the cinema. BBC shorts, directed by David Thacker, made the other. The David Thacker version was made in 1998 for a school pack. The two versions were filmed about thirty years apart. The two different directors have interrupted the Shakespearean text in different ways. So in turn have assorted ideas in how to interpret the text. In Act 3 Scene 4 Macbeth has ordered the killing of Banquo and his son Fleance. He has done this because the three witches said that Banquos' children would be a threat to the throne. He is told that Banquo is dead at the banquet celebrating that Macbeth is on the throne but Fleance had escaped. In the Roman Polanski version of Macbeth he sets it in a stone medieval castle in the Scottish highlands. I think he does this because it is a traditional medieval setting, which Shakespeare used when he wrote the play. Also Polanski could have thought that the text would have lost some of its meaning if it was set in a more recent era. ...read more.


This symbolizes the dark deeds he has committed. Where as the BBC version uses a lot of candlelight casting lots of eyrie and sinister shadows all around the room. Thacker does this to give the scene a sinister ambience. He does this to give the feeling that something bad or odd is going to happen. In my version I would have large candelabras placed around the room which casts a lot of light but you can still see shadows dancing with the flickering of the candle light. I would do this to show that dark thought are playing on Macbeths mind. When Macbeth sees the ghost the flickering becomes more frantic. This is to show that Macbeth can't believe what he sees, and franticly thinking why? How? He is in a state of uncontrollable panic. The costume in the Polanski version ties-in with the setting. Macbeth and his guests all wear traditional medieval costumes. Macbeth wears a chain round his neck and a crown. Both of these are symbols of Macbeths kingship. In comparison David Thacker version has the men dressed in military uniform and the women in sophisticated party dresses. As the two films were filmed roughly thirty years apart, there have been a few technological advances since the filming of the Polanski version. One of Polanski's special effects is when Macbeth sees the ghost. The whole room is frozen apart from Banquo and Macbeth. ...read more.


For example when Macbeth gets into a state she takes Macbeth to one side, taking charge of the situation still smiling to the guests. This Lady Macbeth is much more assertive. They have two very different approaches to the same situation. Polanski's Lady Macbeth tries to tell him he is hallucinating in a gentle and anxious manner. Whereas Thacker's Lady Macbeth is very aggressive and patronizing towards Macbeth She mocks she tells him to go back to the guests. Both Macbeth's look to Lady Macbeth for advice and comfort. In both versions Macbeth spill red wine or blood, which symbolizes the blood Macbeth has spilt. In the Polanski version we don't get sees the ghost when Macbeth first sees the ghost. This is another sign that Macbeth is going crazy. The deathly white ghost covers his eyes as if he doesn't want to see the treachery Macbeth has committed. When Banquo's ghost reveals his face and within seconds we see the mutilated gashes pour with blood. This shocks the audience and Macbeth. In contrast Thacker's ghost is just terribly scarred and just stares at Macbeth. When Banquo's ghost reappears in the Polanski version he appears more ghostlike and goes into slow motion. He is holding a bird of prey which could be a kite referring to " ... the maws of kites... ". Which Macbeth has said earlier. I think the David Thacker version is more effective. I think this because the setting of the BBC version is more appealing to me. The setting triggers my imagine of dark and ominous deeds and what happens there seems believable. ...read more.

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