We watched two different versions of Macbeth. One was the BBC
Shakespeare and the other one was a production called Middle English!
While both productions told the story of the original play by William
Shakespeare they were different in a number of ways.
The BBC Shakespeare presents a traditional version of Macbeth. The
director starts with a long shot of a bleak, empty landscape. As the
camera zooms in it starts to focus on a granite platform with three
objects lying on top. The rock-like platform is bathed in swirling
mists and there is a greyish lighting used with occasional flashes of
light to represent lighting. There are also loud percussion noises to
represent thunder. This is because in Shakespeare's play the opening
scene has stage directions for a storm and the first lines spoken by
the witches also support this idea "When shall we three meet again in
thunder, lighting, or in rain. As the camera goes in for a close up
the mysterious shapes begin to move. Along with their slow movements
they start to unfold and to rise and the music increases in volume and
pitch as if reflecting the movement of the shapes.
It soon becomes clear that these bundles of rags are in fact women.
They are the weird sisters or witches in the play and they are shown
in this version as old and ugly. The director has chosen to present
them as unattractive and menacing and everything about this scene is
threatening and ugly and makes the audience feel uncomfortable impact
on the audience. The music is like funeral music loud and sad. The
witches are old and ugly and dressed from head and faces are...
... middle of paper ...
...ly as the ones in the other version
there is something unpleasant about them. They speak to each other
using an edited version of the original text.
The music used is fast paced. The lighting is bright. The scene is
colourful and the overall effect of this opening is different from the
BBC one. There is a sense of excitement and urgency achieved by the
rapid delivery of their lines -their quick movements as they pack up
and prepares for Macbeth's arrival and the fast music and drum beat
that is part of this scene. Therefore while the BBC Shakespeare is
slow dark and solemn suggesting the play is a tragedy, The Middle
English Programme suggests a frantic excited play of action and pace.
I preferred the more modem filmed version because it was easier to
understand because they where acting it out in a more modem way.
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