Macbeth Play Vs Movie

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Although believed to be cursed, The Tragedy of Macbeth remains one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays for theatre and film. Set in war-torn Scotland, this play expresses the destructive psychological and political wounds on a person when they sinfully gain power for the wrong reasons. This play incorporates violence, madness, and tragedy all in one thrilling theatre performance. In 1971, Roman Polanski directed a variation of this play as a motion picture production. Exceeding his budget, running over time, and traveling abroad, Polanski wanted to produce the best adaptation of Macbeth for his audience. However, he missed key aspects in Shakespeare’s play, thus creating a film which lacked the original play’s entertainment quality. Roman Polanski’s…show more content…
As many critics suggest, the film needs better actors. They fail to convince the audience of their authenticity, and some scenes in the film are almost comical to watch. The scene portrays this as Macbeth shows his “fear” of Banquo’s ghost. Additionally, the actors over-dramatize the scene. Unfortunately for Polanski, the actors cannot hold blame for this problem. Through his own direction and additions, he exaggerates scenes in his film and displays them as gruesome and disturbing images. Berlin elaborates: “His film interpretation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth allows Polanski to present…what seems to be his personal obsession with violence” (297). In this scene, the audience can see Banquo’s ghost spewing blood, turning blue, and rotting as he approaches Macbeth. Although dramatic, this gives the audience a very unconvincing display of his ghost. Because Polanski alters and manipulates his scenes, the film shows over-dramatized images, which reflect badly on the…show more content…
However, one important question needs an answer—does the film work? First, the film does not follow the play fully, but the movie makes sense on its own. Rooney describes it as, “At all times, Macbeth plays like a film, not like filmed theatre” (32). Undoubtedly, the film does not look like a theatre performance, but no film can completely harvest the energy a live theatre provides. Also, critics focus on the violence and gore Polanski uses in this play. Many say it distracts the audience. However, others it adds to the emotion and truly malicious actions of this time. Finally, the film provides a good sense of entertainment overall. “The poetic quality of Shakespeare’s image is lost in Polanski’s film, but its cinematic potentiality is fully exploited” (Berlin 298). Ultimately, Polanski produces an entertaining rendition of Macbeth that would stand well on its own but does not capture the personality of the original Shakespearean

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