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Macbeth and Macbeth Retold

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Syed Nazeem

on 18 July 2013

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Transcript of Macbeth and Macbeth Retold

Macbeth and Macbeth Retold comparison
Syed Nazeem
Hello, This presentation will analyse the differences and similarities between William Shakespeare's Macbeth and the BBC version of Macbeth, Macbeth Retold
Lets start with the differences between the film and the play, I will first state that the BBC version of Macbeth follows a similar plot but the film itself has been adapted and changed to a more modern and current setting. The main purpose of this change was to tailor to the wants of the current generation. So for example, instead of being the Thane of Glamis, Macbeth is a high class chef of a well renowned restaurant in the middle of London. The environment is basically changed from the Shakespearean era to the 21'st century.
Macbeth Retold
Roman Polanski's Film adaptation
Moving on, let us look at the difference between characters. Since, the environment was changed into a more modern setting, so were some Characters. Instead of three witches, there were three garbage men and most of the characters names were modified to suit the modern setting such as Macbeth being Joe Macbeth and Banquo being Billy Banquo etc.

Let us now look at the different techniques that both texts use. The BBC adaptation uses many narrative techniques not shown in the original play. For example Symbolism is widely used in the film. In the beginning of the film, Macbeth is standing in the kitchen at the restaurant and behind him is a magnetic knife holder and it looks as if the knives form a crown around his head which is used to introduce the character as the main character and let the audience know that Macbeth is the character who has a high authority and power. That scene is shown below this slide if you want to see it.
Narrative Techniques
Cinematic Techniques
In the original play, some cinematic techniques differed in comparison to the BBC adaptation. In the adaptation, techniques involving camera angles and the view of the characters were used to emphasize the personality and emotions of the main characters. Not only that, music was also used to create an emotion. In the play, Act II, scene ii, before this scene is the soliloquy by Macbeth “Is this a dagger I see before me?” but in the BBC creation, this soliloquy is not said, but represented by the intriguing music in the background.
Finally, we move to the similarities between the two texts. One thing that is similar right away when witnessing both texts is that both of them share the same plot. The plot of Macbeth retold is kept similar to the original play to capture the very essence of it of course. The only difference it the setting but other than that, the storyline are similar. Both texts tell a story about a man who meet three beings of the supernatural who tell him his future. He then tells his wife about it, she tries to goad him into killing the man who hold the highest position in order to take that position away from him.
Not only were the setting and names of characters different. But language was a big difference as well in Macbeth Retold, instead of using Shakespearean/old English, they used modern English.
Characterisation is very much the same in the play script and the film. In both, Macbeth has a long consideration before killing Duncan. Finally when the deed is done, Macbeth feels terribly guilty. In both texts, the innocent characters are the ones who learn from their mistakes and deal with the consequences effectively and move on quickly. When Macbeth kills Duncan, he knows that he had made the wrong choice but was pressured into doing it by his wife and it was too late to go back and the consequence of this ended up being that Lady Macbeth commits suicide. Both texts show that with terrible actions comes with terrible consequences
The film and the play both use the narrative technique of symbolism as well. Like after killing Duncan, Macbeth hallucinates and see's imaged of imaginary blood.
Lastly, the film and the play hold very parallel themes. Both texts explore the themes of loyalty, the supernatural, ambition, power, violence, guilt, disorder, and that actions hold consequences and theses consequences will be faced.
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