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In the films you have studied to what extent do you find Lady Macbeth to be a fourth witch?

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In the films you have studied to what extent do you find Lady Macbeth to be a fourth witch? Roman Polanski's version of Macbeth was staged in 1971, Macbeth was played by Jon Finch and Lady Macbeth was played by Francesca Annis. The BBC production was staged in 1982, Macbeth was played by Nicol Williamson and Lady Macbeth was played by Jane Lapotaire. The Royal Shakespeare Production was staged in 1978, Macbeth played by Ian McKellen and Lady Macbeth played by Judy Dench. In Polanski's production Lady Macbeth was first introduced at the start of Act one Scene five, when she receives a letter from Macbeth unveiling the prophesies from the witches. Her costume is Shakespearean in period, in keeping with the time the play was written and it is bright and colourful. Polanski interprets Lady Macbeth to be a young and beautiful lady and also she is shown frail and innocent; for example, at the last speech of act one scene five, Lady Macbeth calls evil spirits to possess her body. This is a very dramatic and powerful speech but yet she talks faintly. Apart from Francesca Annis in my opinion acting out this speech poorly, Polanski leaves out a vital part of this speech: "Nor keep peace between Th'effect and it. ...read more.


It was imperative in Shakespeare's time that you had at least one child to carry on the family name, I think this would drive Lady Macbeth more to want her husbands happiness as she was unable to give it to him through children. In the Royal Shakespeare production Lady Macbeth's appearance is very different from the two other films I have studied. Lady Macbeth looks a lot older. Also Judy Dench's costume is very distinct compared to the other two costumes, she wears a black dress and black head scarf and her speeches are made more prominent by a spot light focused on her face. I believe this has the best effect of the three plays as you can truly focus on the words of Shakespeare, In Polanski's version I could not keep Shakespeare's words the centre of my attention as there was so much going on in the background. In Act one scene seven Lady Macbeth tries to persuade Macbeth to murder Duncan. In Polanski's version this scene is set very near the Banquet for Duncan, I think this was a wrong decision as there was no focus on the scene itself, Polanski has a habit of doing this though out the play. ...read more.


Lady Macbeth in the BBC production gave a taste to the audience of how scared she was when waiting for her husbands return and I feel she played this scene exceptionally well. In Act five Scene one of Pulaski's version, Lady Macbeth losing her sanity is shown very well, she is walking around naked rubbing her hands to get imaginary spots out of her hand: "Out damned spot: out I say" This I feel, is a very good interpretation of the sleepwalking scene. This nude scene of Lady Macbeth also parallels the nude witches in the film. This might suggest that Lady Macbeth is in fact a fourth witch. From the Films and the text of Macbeth I have studied, I have found that Lady Macbeth has many characters: the fourth witch, the ambitious wife, determined, dependant, haunted, misunderstood etc. I think from all the films I have viewed they have had different main characters, Polanski's Lady Macbeth was misunderstood, The BBC production's Lady Macbeth was a fourth witch and the Royal Shakespeare Company showed Lady Macbeth to be an ambitious wife. I believe Lady Macbeth was a fourth witch in some ways and also played many other characters. Shakespeare's intention was to let the audience decide. ...read more.

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