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Dramaturgy Project: The Tragedy of Macbeth
Transcript of Dramaturgy Project: The Tragedy of Macbeth
The theme that I think is the most important is ambition and temptation. As soon as Macbeth hears in the beginning of the play that he is already Thane of Glandis, then is told he is now the Thane of Cawdor, he immediately goes into action about how he can become king. He is highly tempted by the power that would come with being king, and while he "possesses enough self-awareness to realize the dangers of overzealous ambition,"(www.gradesaver.com/) his ambition gets the better of him, and will do anything to achieve the title of "King of Scotland".
An audience watching Macbeth should be able to emotionally feel the upward motion of the play. We see as Macbeth gets more powerful that we becomes more greedy and tempted to do whatever it takes to not have anyone or anything stand in his way. The audience should wonder "how far is Macbeth really willing to go to get what he wants, even when what he does is not morally correct?" This makes Macbeth become the most sympathetic character in the play.
Controlling Image or Metaphor
An image that could help by unifying the play as a whole would be the witches' cauldron. Since the witches are the ones that control Macbeth's fate in the play, the cauldron would be what the play would be centered around. This image can be seen as an important aspect of the play by using a green or red lighting effect to highlight the cauldron as something that is evil and tells the fate of the characters, ultimately controlling their decisions.
The main characters of the play are Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Duncan, Banquo, Macduff, Malcolm, and the Witches.
I would chose to do the play in the setting it was initially meant to be, in old Scotland. I believe this would be the best setting since it would give more historial detail about the state of Scotland when the play is taking place, and would be able to show the character's identities better than a modern version.
Macbeth: Johnny Depp could play Macbeth since he is known for playing characters with many different dynamics and that change quickly throughout the story.
Lady Macbeth: Kate Winslet would be my pick for Lady Macbeth since she has the ability to play a character that has a wide range of emotions.
Duncan: Donald Sutherland would be a good actor for Duncan since he portrays a king like manner in his acting.
Banquo: Zac Efron could play Banquo since he would be Macbeth's close friend, he would be more of a mediator between what is right or wrong.
Macduff: Leonardo DiCaprio would fit the role of Macduff because with his acting skills he would be most likely to take control of a situation as Macduff does with Scotland.
Malcolm: Josh Hutcherson would be the best fit for Malcolm since Malcolm goes from being scared to rule to someone who is confident enough to take over Scotland.
Macbeth Themes. (n.d.). Retrieved October 26, 2014.
Macbeth: Character List. (n.d.). Retrieved October 26, 2014.
Macbeth Characters. (n.d.). Retrieved October 26, 2014
Dramaturgy Project: The Tragedy of Macbeth
Structure and Pace
Some of the crucial moments of the play are when all prophecies are told to Macbeth, when him and Lady Macbeth kill Duncan, and the final battle scene between Macbeth and Macduff. The production should prepare the audience by focusing on the foreshadowing aspects, and emphasizing the dialogue between the characters involved in each of the scenes mentioned.
By the end of the play, the audience should realize that greed, temptation, and too much of ambition can lead people do to things they may not have done otherwise. This overarching theme of the play would be communicated to the audience by the character's actions, the lighting in dark or mysterious colors, sound effects, and the set design.
To add to my artistic vision of the play, I would use mainly costumes to reflect the time period of old Scotland. I would also use color patterns to show position and status of all characters in Macbeth. For example, Duncan's clothing would most likely be purple and gold to show royalty since he is a highly respected king. I would also use lighting effects such as green and red lighting to add tension or mysteriousness to scenes such as those involving the witches. Sound effects would also be used. Examples would be the bubbling of the cauldron, the sound of the witches disappearing, and the clinking of metal swords to be used in battle scenes.
Characters, Setting, Cast, and Set Design
Macbeth is a character whose motivations change throughout the play, and those changes affect his character. At the beginning, he is seen as a brave soldier and powerful. To an audience watching this play, one would think that Macbeth is extremely fortunate and would be pleased with his status. As Macbeth is told the prophecy by the witches in Act I, he begins to realize what he could do instead of thinking about what he already has. He starts to become tempted by the power he could have, and will do anything, for example killing King Duncan, Banquo, and Macduff's children, to become king.
Lady Macbeth also has a major change in motivations during the course of the play. At first she is seen as a character that needs and deserves power to have an important role in society. She is very firm, and like Macbeth toward the end of the play, will do anything to get what she wants, even if that may be controlling her husband. In Act V, she begins to realize that what she and Macbeth have done is wrong. Her guilty conscious gets the better of her, and from her sleep walking, the audience knows that she does feel guilty about the murders she and Macbeth have committed.
When the play begins, Duncan is seen as a king loyal to his country, his people, and is trustworthy. He believes in Macbeth, and sees that Macbeth, like Duncan is loyal to Scotland by being a general in the war in Act I. While he does not have a motivation change, the play changes with his death. With Duncan's death, all order and peace in Scotland that was present before, is now gone with Macbeth's rule.
Macduff is first seen as a character that does not approve of Macbeth being king. He is suspicious, and does not trust that Macbeth is the right person to rule Scotland. When he hears that his family is murdered by Macbeth's orders, he is determined to have revenge on Macbeth. With Malcolm's help, Macduff is willing to help him to eliminate Macbeth and put Malcolm, the true king that is next in line to rule, in a position to restore order to Scotland.
At the beginning of the play, Malcolm can be seen as one that is not sure if he would be a good king to rule over Scotland and to follow his father's rule. Upon hearing about his father's death, him and Donalbain run away, making them both very smart and able to make the best decision for themselves and all of Scotland. Macduff's meeting with Malcolm gives him the power to believe in himself that he can be king, and he does have loyal supporters for his rule.
Banquo can be seen as a character that like Macbeth "thinks ambitious thoughts, but he does not translate those thoughts into action"(SparkNotes). He is very similar to Macbeth, and is Macbeth's guilty conscious. When Banquo's ghost appears, Macbeth knows what he did is wrong. He also realizes that Banquo is the better version of himself, the version that Macbeth could've been if he hadn't listened to the witches.
The witches are some of the most influential characters in the play. They are in control of all the character's fates. By telling Macbeth the titles he has and could gain, they lead him to temptation. When they meet with Macbeth on other occasions, they lead him to believe that Banquo is going to have sons that become king, creating a barrier between Macbeth and him being king. They are also able to convince him that the person that is not born of a woman could defeat him, leading Macbeth to believe that the prophecy is impossible until he encounters Macduff, leading to Macbeth's downfall.