Shakespeare/college paper on Shakespeare term paper 12473

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MacBeth versions comparison essay There are many differences between

interpretations of William Shakespeare's MacBeth. This essay wall contrast

Shakespeare's original version and a movie version by Roman Polanski produced in

1970. Three major differences will be discussed. One difference between

Shakespeare's and Polanski's version is the absence of the scene in England in

Polanski's version. In the Original MacBeth, MacDuff goes to England to convince

Malcolm to return and fight MacBeth. The scene of the longest of the play; it is

very drawn out and lengthy. Polanski simply eliminates this scene and shows

Malcolm back in Scotland. The reason I feel that Polanski did this is that the

scene detracts from the continuity and action of the play. The play is equally

effective without the scene, and more streamlined. Another difference between

the original and Polanski's version is the scene where MacBeth kills the king,

Duncan. In the original, Shakespeare was not allowed to show the death of a

divine right ruler, so he showed MacBeth coming out of the king's bedchamber

after he had committed the murder. For Polanski's version, however, he had no

such limitation, and could show anything that he chose, so he showed the actual

murder of Duncan, where Duncan wakes up, and MacBeth cuts his throat after

stabbing him. The reason that Polanski inserted this scene was to show how

cold-blooded MacBeth was, and that he would do anything to achieve his goal of

becoming king. A third difference is the use of the letter that MacBeth writes

to his wife describing how he has become Thane of Cawdor and the witches' three

predictions. In the original, the letter was read by Lady MacBeth, and then not

mentioned again. In Polanski's version, Lady MacBeth takes out the letter after

everything with her and her husband's plan has gone wrong, reads it, and then

kills herself. The reason that Polanski did this is that the letter is a useful

device to cause Lady MacBeth to kill herself. She reads the letter, and it's all

this happy news, but she and MacBeth are miserable, and all the good things in

the letter have gone awry. There are scenes also in Polanski's version which are

not even included in the original. One of these such scenes would be the scene

where the traitors from the war are being executed. They are brutally hung with

cast iron brackets on their neck. This scene is very successful in showing the

brutal treatment of traitors, the treatment that MacBeth would get if he was

caught in his plan. The original did not do such a good job on this. Another of

these such scenes would be the dreams that MacBeth has about Fleance killing him

and Banquo helping him. Due to the extreme lack of technology in Shakespeare's

time, this was not possible. The dreams sequence serves to show how haunted

MacBeth's dreams are, and how worried he is about losing the throne to Fleance

because of the witches' predictions. There are many differences between these

two version of MacBeth, and each of them, I believe, serves it's own purpose to

enhance and better the play.


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