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Macbeth Culture

The cultural change overtime, evolution, and influences of Shakespeare's Macbeth

Wilson Wyllie

on 14 September 2012

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Transcript of Macbeth Culture

Macbeth Tragic Hero The Curse The origin: The End? The legend of the curse dates back to the first performance of Macbeth. In 1606, the boy playing Lady Macbeth developed a fever and died. Shakespeare had to stand in for the role In 1672, the actor playing Macbeth used a real dagger instead of a blunted one and actually killed the actor playing Duncan in front of the audience. In 1849, 31 people were trampled to death during a riot mid-performance. Film Adaptations Classic tragedy: the hero must attain some sense of enlightenment and atonement One theory is that Shakespeare used real spells and black magic. People think that this angered the witches of the time and because of this, the play is cursed. " 1. There have been many film adaptations for Macbeth over the years. During a 1942 production, three actors died and a costume designer committed suicide Evolution 2. The first screen adaptation of Macbeth was Orson Welles' version in 1948. 5. Even the Japanese have adapted Shakespeare. Akira Kurosawa created the movie Throne of Blood in 1957, set in feudal Japan. The Cultural Significance and Change Over Time of 6. Akira borrowed some ideas from Welles' adaptation.
The scene “Not ’Til Birnam Wood come to Dunsinane!” are similar. 3. Made on a very low budget
very stylized and creatively executed for the sake of time and budget.
gritty, film noir aesthetic 7. Another adaptation is Roman Polanski's hyper-realistic version of Macbeth (1971). Produced in Northern Wales - dark, rainy atmosphere
The characters seem real, as if real Scots of the time
Fighting, along with everything else, is clumsy and realistic
soliloquies are voice overs
blood, rage, screaming and fury Polanski's Macbeth is a Nihilistic almost anarchist tale of tragedy
A harsh setting and tone addresses how corrupt human nature is Lady Macbeth's character is represented as frail and weak, sobbing even her most threatening and manipulative lines. 11. Macbeth was reinvented with Ian McKellen and Judi Dench as the leads in 1978. In 1953, an actors suffered severe burns after his pants were accidentally soaked in kerosene How can the curse be broken? 1. Exit the theatre immediately 2. Spin around three times 3. Spit once 4. Knock three times and ask permission to re-enter the theatre If the above steps cannot be completed, lines from Shakespeare's lucky play "The Merchant" should be recited. In 1971, two fires and seven robberies occurred during a production in New York City. The tragic hero is very rateable, which draws people to the play Macbeth is a character that pulls out a common reaction from the viewers Discussion Question #1 Macbeth is described as a tragic hero. Who is another tragic hero either from history or modern day? What is his/her flaw or downfall? Discussion Question #2 It is his ambition that gets Macbeth into trouble Does he feel guilt for his actions? 4. The audience at the time was not familiar with Shakespeare.
Scriptural changes help set the film noir atmosphere famous to Welles' adaptation. The changes date the film
This movie, however, helped the resurgence in Shakespeare's works for the 20th century, especially in the film industry. 8. Macbeth is depicted as a young man.
At first, Macbeth is presented as weak, naive and controlled by his wife.
The audience witnesses Macbeth's startling and surreal transformation Rendition is very true to the play.
Lines are similar to the original manuscript.
Polanski does moves scenes to clarify character motivation and action. 9. Polanski shows how gruesome Macbeth is
as a whole.
Explicit scenes of murder and death, gore and all. Kurosawa also changed the Three Weird Sisters into a single wise man or wizard Macbeth, or Taketoki Washizu, is shot down by dozens upon dozens of arrows in this version instead of beheaded The overall theme of this presentation focuses on how the play changed over time. Name a t.v. show, novel, song, movie, etc. that has changed over time. What factors caused this change? Which version (original or revised) do you prefer and why? Discussion Question #3 There are many superstitions surrounding the play Macbeth in theater. Describe something you are superstitious of and how it affects you. Discussion Question #4 The play Macbeth established many words and phrases that are still used today. Why did they survive and what does this say about Shakespeare's influence on language? Initial Reception & Criticism Performed for King James I on August 7, 1606
Earliest recorded performance: Globe Theater in 1611 Critics' reviews were poems
These poems included the author's feelings and responses to the play Ben Jonson, one of Shakespeare's most famous critics, published his review of Macbeth in the "First Folio" (1623)
First Folio is first publication of 36 plays by Shakespeare
"The Soul of the Age" "Yet must I not give Nature all: Thy art
My gentle Shakespeare, must enjoy a part.
For though the poet's matter, Nature be,
His Art doth give the fashion." Jonson admired the craftsmanship of Shakespeare's plays
Found faults
Thought plays should be strictly edited Another poet and playwright, John Dryden, accused Shakespeare of being inconsistent with is works
"At times flat, insipid... but his is always great, when some great occasion is presented to him." Other's throughout history have been less pleased with Shakespeare's work
Robert Greene is famous for attacking Shakespeare in his pamphlet: "Greene's Groats-Worth of Wit" 10. The movie ends differently, with the three weird sisters lines are very true to the text - exact Shots are claustrophobic, trapped 12. Creates a sense of being enclosed in characters' thoughts and moments theatrical setting and presentation 13. Modern tone - current day clothes Macbeth portrayed as a younger man again Presented as unstable even before murders Portrays Macbeth's ambition very well 14. Depiction of Lady Macbeth is one of the best shows calculating and manipulating nature convincing relationship between the two
how Macbeth wanted the crown and that Lady Macbeth was the extra push off the edge Expressions Created by Shakespeare:
"Be-all and the end-all"
"Come what come may" (Come what may)
"Crack of doom"
"Knock! Knock! Who's there?"
"A sorry sight"
"Stealthy" -First time used as an adjective
"There's no such thing"
"What's done is done" 15. Throne of Blood is seen as the best adaptation of Macbeth ever made
created a world to immerse in
believable characters and interactions
a new presentation of the same script
brought a resurgence for Shakespeare
a blend of the best of Welles, Polanski, and McKellen's adaptions How the written play has changed: First published in 1623 in the First Folio
Blank Verse: Not rhymed iambic pentameter
8% Prose, 92% Verse
Edited Extensively
Contextual Notes
Explanatory Notes
Corrections in grammar/spelling
No Fear version How the performance has changed: Macbeth enjoyed widespread popularity as a play, demonstrated by the fact that it is still preformed today Where does Macbeth's drive come from? Original Theaters Sketch of the Globe Theater in London Main stage
Trap doors: allowed the dramatic appearances of ghosts In the pamphlet, Greene alludes to the accusation that Shakespeare plagiarized work
"upstart crow beautified with our feathers" Originally performed outside because of night-scenes
Revised to be performed indoors: lighting, sounds off stage
Sir William Davenant produced an "operatic" adaptation of Macbeth (1708)
London actor, William Charles Macready focused solely on psychological element (1820)
Witches lost all supernatural power
Macbeth's downfall arose purely from the conflicts in his own character
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