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Macbeth Movie Comparisons

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Siona W

on 25 November 2014

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Transcript of Macbeth Movie Comparisons

Two Macbeths
Act II, Scene i
In this scene there was a big difference in acting/ how Macbeth's feelings were portrayed, as well as the intensity of the meaning behind seeing the dagger.
Act V, Scene viii
Lastly, there was a large contrast between the two different versions of Macbeth's death, both in the way he acted, and in how his death was shown.
Act I, Scene ii
Funnily enough, the differences between the movies were very prominent almost right away, particularly in the first scene with Duncan, in which the current battle is won, and Macdonwald is revealed as a traitor.
Siona Wacheski
Macbeth Movie Comparisons
Macbeth has had many different kinds of movie adaptations made for it, and I'll be comparing two very different versions, using three scenes from each film.

Macbeth (2010), acted by the famous Patrick Stewart and directed by Rupert Goold, is a very strange adaptation with a more modern time setting, located in Soviet Russia, and some changes made to the characters (Such as the witches).

Macbeth (1971), acted by Jon Finch and directed by the famous Roman Polanski, is a film that keeps it more classic, set in the medieval times, located in Scotland (where it should be), and some changes and additions in the scenes/events.
Jon Finch
In the 1971 film, this scene is very calm, as if after a storm. Those who fought all ride together on horses, smiling in the face of victory. The injured Captain is also riding a horse and appearing triumphant as he tells Duncan the news of Donwald. Also, Donwald is captured and tormented in this scene. It's a very calm and basking-in-the-glow kind of scene.
In the 2010 film, the war is still pending, and everything is dark, tense, and on-edge. The Captain delivering the news is not beat up from the battle at all. No horses. Also, Donwald is not in this scene (which was true for the play as well.) This scene does not take place on the battle field, but rather in a safety zone, while the battle rages on.
In the 2010 film, Macbeth was somber and calm as he hallucinated the dagger, as was the mood of the scene. He conveyed a feeling of being tired and confused, not a very intense emotional feel to it. We couldn't see the dagger. Macbeth also just stood in one spot the whole time, quietly speaking to himself.
In the 1971 film, Macbeth shows how he feels tormented and almost agonized at what he is about to do. When he sees the dagger and can't touch it, he covers his face, trying to block out the image. When he looks up and sees it again, he sounds almost hysterical as he thinks, ''I see thee still!'' He even follows after the dagger as it leads him to Duncan's room. This scene is much more intense and charged with Macbeth's emotions.
In my opinion, Roman Polanski did a much better job of telling Macbeth's tragic tale than Rupert Goold did. Polanski's story was much more clear, it stuck to the time frame and main plot, but he also added in some great scenes that made good sense when mixed in with the story, even improved it. Goold's version was trying too hard to be different, it was strange, and just plain confusing with all of its changes, not telling the story as clearly nor as raw and realistically as Polanski did. I also must say that I preferred Jon Finch representing and the way he performed as Macbeth, rather than Patrick Stewart. Finch was able to convey madness and thirst for power a lot better.
In the 2010 film, Macbeth is sitting alone at his dining table, drinking and looking defeated, when Macduff attacks him. The battle takes place in privacy. When Macbeth fights, he does so hopelessly and with a sad expression, not much fire behind his actions. His death is not shown, and his severed head is only presented to Malcolm. The ending overall is a very downplayed affair.
In the 1971 film, Macduff and Macbeth confront each other openly, and in the company of the entire village. They have a 3 minute battle, both with fire in their eyes and strong wills. Macbeth's madness is truly shown here, as he fights for the throne and his life, tooth and nail. His death is shown in this scene, and his severed head is not only presented to Malcolm but to the entire village, mounted on a stick as a pillar of victory, which the audience can feel with them.
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