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Macbeth Act 2 Scenes 1&2

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Introduction

Macbeth Coursework: In this essay I will be looking at Act 2, Scenes 1 and 2 of Macbeth and producing a detailed analysis of the scenes, providing examples of how I would direct them and comparing this with how it may have been directed in Shakespeare's day. I will also be discussing the context in which the play was written and discussing the impact this had on Shakespeare's writing. I am setting Macbeth in the time period of which it was originally set in, the 11th century. To uphold historical accuracy, the actors will also be dressed in medieval clothing and so their outfits won't be that grand but practical and warm, broaches and smocks. The scenery that I will have will be of a built up castle with a staircase and an upper level but also a curtain to fall in front with just an empty field for front-of-tabs work when they are not near a castle. The stage will there for have to be set in open-end staging. I have kept with the original setting for many reasons: one is that people were more suspicious at that time and were a lot more likely to believe that there are witches that make psychic predictions, also less foolish that Macbeth believes them if it was set in time when people were less sceptical toward the supernatural. If it was set in modern day Macbeth would be seen as foolish to believe them and put his life at risk for things that they have said are truths. Another flaw with setting it in modern day is that if somebody, especially the King, was murdered then the body would have to undergo a full forensic search. It would seem implausible that if a monarchy was killed for the blame to go to onto his children purely because they fled, if it was set in a time where they could just check the DNA on the weapons that you know are left there. ...read more.

Middle

He should also sound shocked and confused that he can't touch it, so it seems as though the witches are definitely putting a spell on him. The line 'Nature seems dead' should be said very slowly and definite, after that line it should get gradually and with more emphasis on the words. Also he should pause after 'Moves like a ghost'. It shows his worry and nerve, also the use of the word 'ghost' connects it with death. In the last bit the figure produces a crown and Macbeth is determined to get it. By this time he has developed more dignity, and so he does not try and aimlessly bat around. He also appears to grow taller and in doing so makes him seem more worthy of Kingliness. When he says the last section of his soliloquy, the first line should be said whilst walking halfway up the stairs. He stops and looks around whilst saying 'Hear it not, Duncan'. He then walks to the top of the stairs whilst saying 'for it is knell.' He looks over to the audience to say 'to summon thee to Heaven,' but the looks over to where he is exiting to say 'or to hell' This is said manically with a gruffer tone and with eyes open wider and the dagger held above his head as he runs off set. This section conveys the atmosphere of the night, it describes the night as being dark and dangerous. Which is conveyed by the use of personification, Macbeth compares the night to the evil deed such as murder, witchcraft and rape. It also again forewarns the terrible deeds that are soon to take place. At the beginning of Act 2 Scene 2 there should be sounds of wind in the background to show something bad is coming, this is a use of pathetic fallacy. This will make viewers think as to whether the deed has taken place yet. ...read more.

Conclusion

Yet when he says, 'I wish thou couldst.' To be said softer and more inwardly, said more to himself, he should also bow his head as it shows his remorse for what he has done and his wish to reverse it. My play differs in many ways from what it would have been showed in Shakespeares day, as there is more technology and equipment in theatres now than they did then. In Shakespeare's time there wasn't backdrops, limited props and not very much in the way of scenery. Whereas, in my play there is an entire wall of a castle with a staircase and an upstairs for the actors to go in certain parts of the play, also there is a background of a forest for later on in the play. Underneath the stage is an area that opens up for the witches to go in when needed. These things they wouldn't have been able to do in Shakespeare's day, I am also using more advanced lighting then they would have then as well. Also the costumes that I use are from medieval time, whereas they were in Elizabethan dress when they were first performed. The audience would be different now as in Shakespeare's day, the arena was a bit of a commotion, people talked, traded, drank. But nowadays, Shakespeare's plays are seen almost as religious and the whole theatre is in silence. You are scolded if you even dare to cough. Also as people don't have the same belief in witches and the supernatural as they did then, the story seems quite far-fetched, but it is still regarded as one of the greatest plays even written. Which is contradictory to the belief at the time. I think that my ideas are effective and also they are original, for example, my idea for Macbeth's soliloquy, which, to my knowledge, hasn't been used before. I think that it will be effective as I feel I have captured the characters in the way that they were written by Shakespeare and it stays very close to the original setting and so stays traditional. ...read more.

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