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GCSE: Macbeth

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  1. Comparing MacBeth and living with lady Macbeth

    It is a 'play about a play' and traces Lily's efforts to be cast as her heroine in her school's performance of Macbeth. To succeed, she has to better Suzanne Porter, one of her peer group who has bullied her throughout her school days. Living With Lady Macbeth only has one act whereas Macbeth has five acts. These two plays were written in different times. Macbeth was written in 1606 and is set in Scotland with the exception of Act 4 which is set in England at around Shakespeare's time although the actual events took place in the eleventh century.

    • Word count: 865
  2. Free essay


    In the exam we did an exercise called "the mirror exercise" in this we got into pairs and had to stand facing each other and we had to copy our partner's actions and movements to create an atmosphere and we compared this to characters in the play for example: When Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are arguing about killing the king in our movement piece we showed how the control of the two switched until Lady Macbeth wins the argument and we showed her higher in this piece showing that she had won the argument.

    • Word count: 1794
  3. What is Shakespeare's purpose for the witches in Macbeth?

    This meant that the actors had to keep on turning around so the crowd would not get bored or angry. If the actors didn't turn around then the crowd would throw things at them. In the Globe Theatre the performances started at 2pm. The pub, opposite the Globe Theatre opened at 9am. So, by the time the play started a lot of the people were drunk and did not know what they were doing and would make a lot of noise.

    • Word count: 1520
  4. Part 1-Response to plays and other types of drama-comparison of macbeth to the crucible

    Both 'The Crucible' and 'Macbeth' are four act plays which follow Gustav Freytag's traditional four act play structure of tragedies and comedies. This is: the exposition, which is the beginning scene, that has the inciting moment, rising action which is the second act that makes the action taken in the inciting moment and makes it worse, eventually leading up to the climax, which is where there is a sudden change of events due to the protagonist making a bad decision and finally the falling action which Is where the problem is usually resolved.

    • Word count: 731
  5. write a review of the woman in black as a member of the audience

    I won't give away the whole plot but basically, 'The Woman In Black' is a play about the production title, the woman in black appears as a ghostly figure most of the time, she slowly unfolds a twisted and complicated, horrific mystery.It is also a play within a play. The first scene is the introduction to the two main characters, both males, though one quite young and the other pretty old.The old man wants a production of past events in his life, the young one agrees that they can work together to complete the production under certain circumstances.

    • Word count: 958
  6. MacBeth - Examine a scene from Mac Beth - both film and text versions. Comment on how well you think the cast conveyed the subject matter and write down how you would direct the play of given the chance.

    In 1582 Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway who had three children to him, a daughter in 1583 and twins, a boy and a girl in 1585. The boy died when he was nine. Shakespeare got his break in Drama when an acting group came to Stratford and they were a call man down because of death. The part was then open; Shakespeare applied and got the part. Later on he then left his family to live in London. Shakespeare was a shrewd businessman and became one of the Kings men meaning he wrote for the King.

    • Word count: 1993
  7. Compare the techniques used in the opening sequences of Roman Polanski's film of 'Macbeth' and the film of Trevor Nunn's RSC production of 'Macbeth'

    The camera pans,(moving the camera from right to left or left to right )from one character to another .

    • Word count: 1004
  8. Section 2: Staging

    This could have been used in Act 3:4 of Macbeth to cover the ghost in a running supply of blood. The props that were used, for example the seats at Macbeth's Banquet, were seen by the audience when they were taken on and off the stage as there were no curtains or walls to cover them. A common technique to cover this happening was to play different types of music between the scenes. One thing the theatre did have, was great sound.

    • Word count: 844
  9. Macbeth The presentation of the witches in the opening scenes is crucial to the atmosphere of the play Macbeth. Compare how acts 1 scene i and iii are presented in two different versions of the play. Which version do you feel makes the greater dramatic

    However in our modern day witchcraft holds a very irrelevant and fairytale status. For the purpose of doing this coursework i firs had to watch two different productions of the play Macbeth. The first version of the play, which I watched, was a production made by the BBC; this is the older of the two plays, which shows in the quality of the picture. it is old but sticks to the original text rigidly. The first scene of this production is set in a dark desolate and eerie area. This creates a sense of mystery.

    • Word count: 1090
  10. Process Journal

    We chose to do this because we all agreed we wanted to make our devised piece very dramtic and where we could all have strong personalitys which we could develop and express in out own way. We have based our devised piece on the theme's of betrayal and murder these themes are apparent in Macbeth (our set text piece). Another connection that can be made between the two scenes is the way women have alot of power over men, for example the way the Witches intimidate Macbeth and the audience with their rhythmic chant,the jail birds also confront and intimidate the audience when walking towards them while speaking their monologue.

    • Word count: 654
  11. Original writing Letter

    during that period there were conflicts and situations very similar to the ones that make the central themes of Macbeth (for example, the l**t for power, betrayal, and Fate's role in people's lives and destinies). Another reason for choosing Ancient Greece as the setting of the play is that it would have a grater impact on the audience. As you must already know, the Ancient Greek theatre set decorations were very simple, as were the costumes, and the acting was more dramatic.

    • Word count: 516
  12. How do the directors Trevor Nunn and Roman Polanski present Act I scenes I to IV of Macbeth to their audiences?

    The beginning (act I scene I) of both Nunn's and Polanski's version of Macbeth are very different. As both the directors use different techniques. Nunn doesn't start of where the book version of Macbeth starts off, but instead Nunn starts his production by shining a white spotlight on a circle from above and then all the characters of the play move in around and towards the circle, which creates a really good effect, as it shows shadows closing and covering the circle as the characters movie in.

    • Word count: 2201
  13. Write about the transposition of Shakespeare's play, Macbeth, from live theatre to the medium of television.

    On television, however, the director decides what you see and how closely and clearly you see the actors. The actor's mistakes are never shown as before any play or film is put on air it is carefully censored. The actors acting on television need to use their body language and especially facial expressions very well as it is possible to have the actors face taking up the whole screen, which is why a modern audience would not appreciate the language as much as they would have in Shakespeare's time.

    • Word count: 1663
  14. Nunn and Polanski's Versions of Macbeth - comparing the two versions.

    In Polanski's version the costumes are in full colour. Again the evil witches are in dull, dark colours. Their clothes are old and in rags suggesting that they are evil. The settings of both versions of the same play are very different. In Nunn's version there is no real background pictures or objects, which would suggest the position of a character at a specific time. In fact the background is just darkened all the way through the play. Although this may limit what can be done with the setting, I think that it does add tension.

    • Word count: 1128
  15. Having watched the Polanski's and Welles' versions of Act 1 Scene 1 of Macbeth, which version of the opening scene with the witches did you feel was the most dramatic and encouraged you to continue watching?

    Shakespeare wrote this play with King James 1 in mind. James 1 was very interested in the whole idea of witchcraft and evil at work. Throughout this play that is "Macbeth" the witches are portrayed as very powerful. Most of the drama of the first scene of the three versions is connected to the appearance of these witches. From studying Welles' "Macbeth" I have seen that the opening scene (Act 1 Scene1) was very dramatic, an had a wide selection of special features these include the weather, it was very fearful and unpleasant.

    • Word count: 557
  16. Macbeth Act 3, Scene 4.

    Polanski's version opens with the bear-baiting scene. This then sets the tone of the scene as the lords cheer on. The blood of the bear is symbolic of Macbeth's murder of Duncan. In Polanski's version the set is sparsely decorated and the table is the main piece of furniture on screen. The table is in a central spot; it therefore plays a central role with regard to the scene. I think the director has chosen to set the play in medieval times, as the costumes would suggest.

    • Word count: 709
  17. The Witches are an integral part of Macbeth. Discuss how two (or more) directors have presented these characters in Ii and Iiii.

    The red sky may be used to represent blood and death. It also prepares us for Macbeth's actions later in the play. Whilst they occupy a beach, the surrounding sky is a vivid blue colour. This could be to symbolise their coldness, as they will later tempt Macbeth, and make him feed on the "insane root" and the temp his with his own fate. The red sky may be due to the setting of the sun. Once the sun has set, it must decline in the sky and come down, this may be used to show the downfall in society as their king had been murdered, and the death of King Duncan himself.

    • Word count: 1403
  18. How does the representation of the witches in Roman Polanski's and The Royal Shakespeare Company's adaption of Macbeth differ and what effect does this have on the audience?

    Their faces are all disfigured, weathered and unsmiling with old, grey skin and high, and weary voices. In Roman Polanski's version, the witches' movements say a lot about what they are doing. They all moved hunched up, with quick, shifty movements, not wanting to be seen and showing they are up to no good. The witches didn't interact very much, they didn't talk unless necessary, went about there business and said a few words at the end, where there was a pause before the name Macbeth for dramatic effect.

    • Word count: 847
  19. Having watched the "Long Overdue" production of Macbeth, compare the performance to Shakespeare's original script; was it successful? What do you think stood out as the most successful elements?

    She was certainly portrayed as a very passionate woman but I think that this was overplayed. Her true evil and strength were not put forward strongly enough. When she asked to be de-feminised her lines lacked emotion, she did not convince me that she wanted this to happen. Her ambition to succeed was not portrayed. I believe that this lack of emotion was down to bad acting and not down to bad directing. Also, with Lady Macbeth being taller than Macbeth it made us wonder if Macbeth would have been able to overpower her. I believe that Macduff played his role very well but in this production the importance of Macduff was not emphasised as much as in the Shakespeare's original script.

    • Word count: 1123
  20. From your research into Elizabethan theatre discuss the effectiveness of Act One Scene One of Shakespeare's' 'Macbeth' - In establishing an atmosphere of evil.

    This would have made it very hard to give the impression between day and night to the chattering audience. They also didn't have any technical equipment which would be used nowadays for sound. Instead the actors made all the sounds with mouth or with a home made device. Shakespeare also didn't have enough money to buy scenery or costumes for his gifted actors so he did all this through his captive words of description.

    • Word count: 510
  21. After reading Macbeth Act two scene two we watched two productions of Macbeth.

    They did use some representation e.g. when Macbeth commits regicide It shows the crown falling to the ground i.e. the king has been killed, overthrown. When Macbeth says " Will all great Neptune's Ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? ... Making the green one, red" You see the blood on his hands turning a bucket of water red and when he empties it, it fills the screen and resembles the sea (which is red). After Macbeth washes his hands you see the rope for the bucket which lookes like a noose for hanging a man, showing that Macbeth will eventually pay dearly for his evil deed.

    • Word count: 580
  22. The Globe Theatre is probably the most important structure in Shakespeare's dramatic career.

    Wealthy individuals were often patrons of the performances, and would therefore purchase a theatre of their own, or in some cases an acting company would purchase a theatre and play only for selected groups. Some of these theatres located in London were The Black friars I and II, St. Paul's, The White friars, Salisbury Court, The Cockpit, and Drury Lane. The Chamberlain's Company, who built the Globe, formed in 1594. At the time, it was one of only two licensed acting companies in London.

    • Word count: 644
  23. Compare the presentation of the opening scene of Macbeth by the Royal Shakespeare Company with that of Polanskis production. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each version stating which you prefer and explaining the reasons for your choice.

    Nowadays we would not think much about the witches in 'Macbeth' but a Jacobean audience would have been very frightened when being confronted by such 'supernatural' beings in a performance of Macbeth. The opening scene of any play or production is very important. The first scene sets the mood for the whole play. If the audience are not kept captivated and intrigued in this short but important scene they may lose interest and so the rest of the play is irrelevant.

    • Word count: 1184
  24. In your opinion how well has Polanski inturpertion Shakesphear's intentions for Macbeth

    Polanski has used certain effects to introduce a much more supernatural fell to his production, making Macbeth seem slightly more innocent of his crimes, by giving the impression that he was pushed by the will of the witches, this is shown by the importance given to the witches in certain scenes. In the play the witches are highly influential, and very important characters. They make a number of prophecies about Macbeth, which would totally change his life. The Polanski version is very successful in creating an atmosphere of the eerie and supernatural.

    • Word count: 721
  25. What part do the witches play in Shakespeare's Macbeth?

    Therefore the first lines in this scene should be said clearly, as they are our first introduction to the witches and Macbeth and after this we know a little about what is happening in the future. I think we meet the witches first in the play to show the evil that is going on, so we can get an idea of what is going to happen and the parts that they play. I see the witches as being important characters at the start because of this and this should come across in the way they are acted.

    • Word count: 1282

Conclusion analysis

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How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?

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