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Compare & contrast the opening scene of Shakespeare's Macbeth as portrayed by Roman Polanski and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Which do you think is more successful?
The tones of red fade to black, white and shades of grey. Set on a heath, there are thunderclouds overhead which create a sense of foreboding the darkness of the clouds symbolises evil. The thunder and lightning give a sense of evil happening, lightning is clearly seen in the background and the flashes of light let us catch glimpses of three shapes on top of the dolmen which takes up most of the stage setting. The lightning also lets us see the outlines of monoliths in the background, which are associated with pagan rituals and beliefs.
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From reviewing all of the different stages I consider the thrust stage to be the most practical option. When you look at the themes in Macbeth, the importance of, 'three' is very apparent. A cunning idea of using thrust staging is that the stage reflects this as the audience faces the stage from three sides, a key element in my decision of using this type of staging is that, it allows the audience to be very close to the acting, and the performance taking place. As thrust staging g was the common form of staging in Shakespearean theatre, it could be said that Macbeth was written to be performed on such a stage, I feel it will be
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"Write a review of the Long Overdue Theatre Company's production of 'Macbeth.' You should consider acting, costumes, lighting, stage sets and other stage effects."
Also, the audience found it quite funny the height difference between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth who was played by a very tall woman, she towered over him; this looked unnatural to me but could have been intentional as she is supposed to appear very domineering. Her height did help me believe that she was the dominant one in the relationship. Lady Macbeth was another challenging role in the play. When she walked on the stage she looked the part, her height and stature made her appear to be a tall, powerful woman especially compared to Macbeth's height.
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Samantha Bond and Sean Bean starred in Edward Hall's production of Macbeth, which opened in the west end's Albery theatre on November 14th 2002.
Sean Beans acting was, at its best, wooden, and highlighted by Samantha Bonds far superior understanding of Shakespeare's use of language and verbal antithesis. It seemed apparent that Sean Beans casting and the plays production was aimed primarily at the vast numbers of GCSE students due to visit the theatre. The sexual electricity between Macbeth, the witches and lady Macbeth accompanied by periods of obviously intended revulsion (Malcolm's vomiting etc) seemed merely for the entertainment and delight of the 16 year olds.
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In this essay I will look at two different views on the production, "Macbeth," originally written by William Shakespeare and how two different directors have used their imagination to create suspense and excitement in the opening scenes of the play.
AS a brief description of the opening scene, there are three witches who come together to cast a spell. The overall objective is to create suspense and a sinister atmosphere. For the stage notes from Shakespeare he wrote the opening scene should be set, "in an open place." Polanski has interpreted these directions very effectively and had his opening scene set on a beach. There were no people or sunshine or happiness that we would normally associate with a beach but instead the beach was dull, boring and empty. When you first see the opening scene of Polanski's version you can immediately see the red sky.
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Compare and contrast Roman Polanski's and Orson Welles' film adaptation of the opening scene of Macbeth, saying how effective you find the two versions
There are certain similarities and differences between the two versions. While both directors have adopted Shakespeare's text effectively to the screen, they both use very different methods to convey Shakespeare's intentions. For example, Orson Welles uses text from act four of the play, beginning 'Double double toil and trouble'. This is the first line in the film and Welles uses it to suggest that the witches are agents of evil and perhaps to give the impression of forthcoming trouble. However, Welles leaves out the lines about Greymalkin and paddock perhaps due to the twentieth century audience not being familiar with witches spirits and the their names.
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Study and compare two different film interpretations of Act 4 Scene 1 of Shakespeare's 'Macbeth'. Discuss how you would replace some of the techniques the directors have chosen to use.
I would do this because it is original and modern. It would also work well with the actual text as it is deserted, which adds to the atmosphere and mystery of the whole play. In the background of the opening scene there would be deserted rides, litter being blown around by the wind, echoing laughs and children's voices, suggesting something tragic had happened there, which is why no one goes there. In the opening scene, the colouring would be sepia.
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The stage lighting in this play was used very effectively to show different locations on quite a limiting set. The stage was a sort of semi circle shape, and in the centre, there was a circle of metal grills where different coloured light was shone through the floor to create different effects, and the shadows cast by this floor lighting were more sinister and strange than the normal overheads. Green light was shone through for any scenes that were set outdoors, which looked eerie and natural at the same time, which was very effective. As the set had to be adapted to so many different rooms, the use of light was successful, as it was easy to tell apart the different locations (e.g.
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cliff top, beach and a warehouse, but in each setting the locality is still an "open space". The directors tried to make the atmosphere and scenery as supernatural and eerie as possible. The first production that I studied was by Orson Welle's. In this opening sequence, he tried to get a surreal and unnatural effect. The setting for this version was on top of a cliff top surrounded by mist. The first image we see is a boiling cauldron then it moves quickly to the three witches on the cliff. This image isn't in the centre of the screen as in the rest of the interpretations by other directors.
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Comparisons of the Tragedy of Macbeth as Seen in Films Directed by Roman Polanksi’s and Michael Bogdanov
The red bleeds out and disappears. This is not going to be a bright day bathed in sunlight - there's no sun in this tragedy. Polanski draws the attention of the audience by the use of colour in the film. The shot is held as a cough is heard and a stick gradually appears in the bottom left foreground. A wrinkled hand is guiding it, as a circle is drawn in the sand. The hands of three weird looking women scoop out the earth and dig down.
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We wallow in this introductory atmosphere and then give free rein to the events about to follow. The camera rapidly advances to a tripod- like frame of rocks on which three human- like figures sit hunched over, faces not yet visible. These three figures rise slowly, elevating their hands to the sky as if greeting or worshipping some God. They now reveal themselves to be witches, wearing frayed, tattered rags, the traditional impression of a witch. The three are ancient- looking creatures and this is also added to, by their rough, sour voices.
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The musical soundtrack of the film sends an eerie feeling through the scene. The music is Medieval/Baroque style with seemingly out of tune string. This is the only sound apart from the sound of the hoofs on the horse hitting the ground as Macbeth approaches the cave. The music also adds to the supernatural element of the play. The fact that Macbeth cannot resist going in to the cave even though we can see that he is unsure about what to do, in adds to the point that the witches have control over his urges.
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For this particular piece of coursework, we will be looking at the Roman Polanski version and the Trevor Nunn version (Royal Shakespeare Company) and the differences between the two. 1.THE ROMAN POLANSKI VERSION (1971, FILM VERSION) I believe that this version has its good points and its bad points. Obviously as this is a film version, it would have had a larger budget, which means that film luxuries like special effects can be used as well as better costumes and locations for the scene.
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One of the witches seems to be having some kind of fit and the other witches seem to be encouraging it, near the end of the fit the witch begins to give out information to the other two witches as though the fit gives her information, after each segment of spasmic knowledge the other two witches seem to be surprised. On the last line "Fair is foul and foul is fair....", the witches are out of sync and that makes me think that they are getting the speech from somewhere else.
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A Comparison of Roman Polanski's film version of Macbeth and the BBC Shakespeare production by Shaun Sutton
The witches are chanting in a menacing language and they are speaking in riddles. There is a constant drone of eerie music that adds the feeling of uneasiness, which is also reflected in their words and actions as they speak in time unison. The witches say, "Come graymalkin" as they look to the sky and this seems to represent the calling of some evil spirit. Sorcery is displayed when the three witches start joining hands that creates a very powerful image in the opening scene. The film version completely turns the story upside down.
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Macbeth hopes they will tell him more. The scene is important because it represents the place of evil in the plot. Macbeth has become king through evil means and now goes and sees the witches who are also evil. His vision of the apparitions is not the first time he sees something from the unnatural world. Also in the play he sees a death vision of a dagger pointing to Duncan's room, and he saw the ghost of Banquo after he had been murdered.
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This is maybe because the director wanted to show you that Macbeth had spies everywhere and was listening to anything said in opposition to him. This idea at least keeps the viewer's mind in motion. Whereas in theatre you would view the whole stage in general so you don't feel that kind of intensity the producer was trying to capture. Television is an intermediary of entertainment to anyone watching it. This also applies to the working classes who are not that wealthy so instead can watch a production of Macbeth on television.
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On the far end there is a table (used in religious ceremonies) that was used for feasts. A cross hanged on the wall next to a table. There were stare cases on left and right to the balcony. And the floor was wooden. This performance had no curtains and scenes did not change in darkness, in that it was presentational performance. The scenes were continued without intermission. The door was present. In the beginning the audience came through the door and later the same door was used for the show. The lights were designed by Amy C.
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