When comparing Roman Polanski's version of Macbeth with the original
text written by William Shakespeare we can see that his work is in
keeping with Shakespeare's to a an extent however Polanski adds
innovations to show of the more natural side of the witches which is
more realistic to the modern audience. Although William Shakespeare
wrote the play circa 1603 (for king James) the play is set in the Dark
Age Scotland. Polanski uses this and sets his film around this era
unlike other directors who have set their films in Jacobean times when
it was written, this makes Polanski's version more credible. The
essential theme for Macbeth is tragedy.
The importance of the witches is established in the opening scene.
Even the first stage direction, ' Thunder and lightning. Enter three
WITCHES' is appropriate as many people around Shakespeare's time
blamed witches for the conjuring of storms, this is pathetic fallacy.
Although in the text there is no stage directions suggesting where act
1 scene 1 should take place, Polanski has decided to innovate with
Polanski sets Act 1 scene 1 on a deserted beach, with eerie sounds. In
Polanski's version the lines are in different order from the play. The
witches of the film cast a spell using vile ingredients like a severed
arm etc. By placing this scene on the beach shows the depth Polanski
went into the historical content, as many battles in the Dark ages
would have been fought on the beaches, as this is where armies would
enter Scotland. The scene begins as the sunsets quite beautiful but as
the witches enter the scene the atmosph...
... middle of paper ...
...n as the
witches planted the ideas he had his head set on fulfilling the
The witches are perhaps evil women who flirt with idea of someone's
downfall. Macbeth's ambitions proceeded to be willing to take
everything the witches said to be true, but he took the prophecies at
face value. Notice they do not ask for anything in return so they may
just be plotting for his flaws to weaken him and lead to his demise.
Polanski's description of the witches differs from the Jacobean time
beliefs, he suggest that they are able to change Macbeths personality
and that it is him who changes the occurrence of the play.
Polanski's film ends in a note of irony. We see Donaldbain ridding
across the heath and goes near to where we know Macbeth first met the
witches, this suggest it may become a cycle and is to continue.
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