Essay on Comparing Three Video Versions of William Shakespeare's Macbeth

Essay on Comparing Three Video Versions of William Shakespeare's Macbeth

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Comparing Three Video Versions of William Shakespeare's Macbeth

To help us compare and contrast the three video versions of "Macbeth"
Act 1, Scene 7, we watched them. The first version was a more modern
and in a way futuristic recreation of the scene, starring John Gordon
Sinclair as Macbeth and Louise Lombard playing Lady Macbeth. The
second version was a B.B.C Television version, the scene was made as a
one off with Nicol Williamson playing Macbeth and Jane Lapotaire
playing Lady Macbeth. The third version was a film produced by Roman
Polanski and was no doubt the most detailed of the three. In
Polanski's version John Finch played Macbeth and Francesca Annis
played Lady Macbeth.

Scene 7 has been created to emphasise Macbeths' doubts about murdering
the King, for it is the only way he will become King himself, as the
three witches proclaimed. At one point his mind is set that he will no
longer go ahead with the murder for it is far too risky, but his
persistent wife restores his confidence once again, she is clearly the
backbone of this plan. All three of the versions use the original
dialogue for the conversation between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth written
by Shakespeare all those years ago.

In the first version the costumes worn by Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are
noticeably ahead of their time considering the time period in which
the play was set. Macbeth wears what looks like a twentieth century
costume, a dinner suit under a cloak, fairly modern for its time.
Macbeth's evening clothes show wealth and position. Lady Macbeth wears
a sparkling metallic gown and a necklace both items of clothing show
her obvious wealth and social p...


... middle of paper ...


...like the B.B.C version,
until a focus on Macbeth's face is fixed and we hear the voiceover
announcing his thoughts. The biggest significance in this version is
the external shots of the castle, where the scene is set, really
showing the contrast between the party inside, and the storm outside.
Not one of the other version include external shots of the set,
creating the impression of a higher budget production. Like the modern
version, many of the camera shots of the actors are waste upward,
emphasising reactions, responses and emotions.

In my opinion Polanski's version was no doubt the best, it re-enacted
the play "Macbeth" to a degree the other two version could only dream
of. Intricate camera angles, attention to detail, emphasis on key
points and excellent setting all added to the overall feel of
authenticity.

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