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The Staging of Macbeth, Act 5: Scene 1

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The Staging of Macbeth, Act 5: Scene 1 Macbeth is a tragedy of Ambition. In Act 5 Scene 1 we can tell that there has been a substantial lapse of time, for the deterioration of Lady Macbeth's nervous condition has progressed sizeably. In the early stages of the play, she was strong willed, more so than Macbeth, but now the roles have reversed. She has become inactive, almost listless, while Macbeth progresses from one act of violence to another. Every word spoken by Lady Macbeth shows that the memory of the first murder is always with her, and there is no particle left of her original hardness and cynical purpose, but only remorse and suffering. To clothe Lady Macbeth, many directors have chosen red and orange costumes earlier in the play. I feel that this suggests blood, danger and fire, which echoes her dark thoughts. In the same way, I, in this scene, would clothe Lady Macbeth in white, silk to show wealth, and to be light and flowing. I hope this would make Lady Macbeth appear to the audience almost as a spectre, eerily gliding along the floor. ...read more.


Therefore, I would place a small table and stool to one side of the stage, as the only two parts of furniture, the stool for Lady Macbeth to perhaps sit down on then quickly rise from, as she hesitantly walks from side to side. But to make clear the action of the washing, which holds a vital few moments in this scene, the actor would stop beneath a newly switched on white crisp stage light. All other lights should be extinguished for this part, including the wing light. I feel it is necessary that this should be particularly highlighted, not only because it reinforces the madness of Lady Macbeth, but because she says, "Out damned spot," - the spot, to Lady Macbeth imaginary blood, would have been recognised as the devil's mark of evil, to the Shakespearean audience. In Lady Macbeth's speech, from "Out damned spot" to "So much blood in him," where there are many moments of the past in a few short sentences, I would have Lady Macbeth's face constantly changing emotion with the theme of her speech, combing fear, hatred and her kindly assurance to Macbeth, as she re-enacts her own speeches in different tones and expressions. ...read more.


In the same way, the Doctor should cross himself, when he says, "God forgive us all." These acts, strongly contrast the irreligious behaviour of Lady Macbeth. The scene ends with the Doctor speaking, quietly, and not directly to the Gentlewoman: "My mind she has mated, and amazed my sight." Here, he should be nodding his head in disbelief and leave with the Gentlewoman, sighing regretfully. To conclude, I would set the play in Shakespearean times, as you may have recognised. Although perhaps unoriginal, I feel after studying several stage plays of 'Macbeth,' that this is the most effective. Shakespeare wrote in those times, to fit the times and the audience. Therefore, if I had set in, say, a post-war Britain, some of the lines and theories behind 'Macbeth', such as the spots of blood being a sign of the devil, would not have as powerful an effect as it deserves, especially since the time of Shakespeare was the time at which beliefs about the super natural were at their height, and certainty in witch craft and evil was universal. This scene has many moments of suspense and revelation, and by highlighting particular events, I hope that I would do justice to Shakespeare. Belief Kartik Logishetty Macbeth Act 5 Scene 1 1 ...read more.

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