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Orson Welles' version of the opening scene of MacBeth has some major differences than that of the opening scene by Roman Polanski.

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Introduction

Orson Welles' version of the opening scene of Mac Beth has some major differences than that of the opening scene by Roman Polanski. The setting of Welles' scene is on a hilltop or out crop of rock the place is very much more like a moor/heath where witches are associated with than that of Polanskis version that is set upon a beach at sunrise. There is also a gnarled tree visible in the foreground of Welles' version perhaps this symbolises how the witches are twisted in their ways, this is much like the symbolism of the twisted stick used by Polanskis witches. In Roman Polanski's version of the opening scene of Mac Beth the sequence opens on a beach just at sunrise it is a clear but bleak morning. There is silence a red sky that signifies a Shepard's warning the sand is rough and then begins a creepy unattractive nerve tingling music. There are gulls screeching, the camera is a long shot and which doesn't move throughout the scene. Suddenly we see a crooked stick, the camera shot is now a close up we hear faint mumbling from the witches but we have not yet seen them. ...read more.

Middle

Here evil comes in many forms, all of the witches are different they are in silhouette they have sharp chins and warts they are not stereotypical witches in their appearance. There is a mixture of colours black for the very old and blind witch and white for the younger not as ugly witch. The old witch is blind and perhaps she can see into the future she knows that they will meet with Mac Beth When we are reading the Mac Beth text We don't know what the witches look like we are only told their attire in Act Once Scene III "wither'd and wild" the witches in Polanskis version are portrayed as having choppy fingers and hacked lips. The more effective of the two differing portraits of the witches is Polanskis version as he only has one of his witches stereotypical whereas the other two are not as ugly or evil looking perhaps this is to do with my earlier mentioned point about evil perpetuating itself with age. Polanskis witches are more visualised than Welles' who preferred not to concentrate on the witches but to concentrate more on the sound and movement of the witches. ...read more.

Conclusion

For example he misses out the lines "I come Graymalkin Paddok calls. Anon." The use of the word hurly-burly used to describe the battle this word is onomatopoeic with strong h's broad u's here the witches are describing the sound of the battle. Lost and Won is used to describe the battle and the predicament that Mac Beth gets himself into Cawdor loses the battle but in the end it is Mac Beth who loses. Lost and won is also a paradox, we are getting a sense of evil, mystery and confusion a window into the future is given. Polanski takes this window and shows it. In the line there to meet with Mac Beth during this line there is a pause before the word Mac Beth this highlights Mac Beth as an important character. The more effective usage of dialogue in the two films if Welles' version as he was able to highlight a very important character very simply by having a pause in the line "there to meet with Mac Beth" this pause between with and Mac Beth is very effective. The sounds used through out the scene are very effective but the most effective was Welles version as his chosen music put the viewer into an almost jumpy mood. Overall the most effective prologue scene of Mac Beth is Welles. ...read more.

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