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Ayli Buchanan

on 12 January 2016

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Transcript of Macbeth

There are many differences between Roman Polanski's and Patrick Stewart's version of Shakespeare's play Macbeth. In the following slides, I will compare three scenes from each movie and determine which version is more effective.
Macbeth Film Comparison
Polanski VS Stewart
By: Ayli Buchanan
Act 1 Scene 1 - Roman Polanski
set on a deserted beach
the witches appear and start digging a hole in the sand
second witch
first witch
third witch
witches are older
use traditional witchcraft materials and rituals
portrayed as less dangerous and more like old women of varied ages
Act 1 Scene 1 - Patrick Stewart

witches are portrayed as eerie and strange
make jerky movements and talk in creepy voices
they seem dangerous and ruthless since they kill the man and rip out his heart with no emotion
set in a hallway of a bunker during the communist soviet era
the witches are dressed as nurses, young and are close in age
they are standing around a bloody dying man
Act 3 Scene 3 - Roman Polanski
Act 3 Scene 3 - Patrick Stewart
Act 5 Scene 8 - Roman Polanski
Act 5 Scene 8 - Patrick Stewart
set in a forest
second murderer cutting down a tree
third murderer
first murderer
there is a fighting scene between Banquo and the murderers
Fleance escapes on his horse
the murderers let the tree they were cutting fall in front Banquo and Fleance blocking their path
Banquo's dead body is left in the river
murderers seem satisfied once they kill Banquo
set on a steam train
the murderers put poisonous powder into Banquo's coffee
first and second murderers dressed as train employes who serve beverages
third murderer
once Banquo knows that he has been poisoned, he pulls the cord to stop the train and yells for his son Fleance to escape
once Banquo is dead, the murderers talk to each other in worried voices
the murderers seem nervous to stay any longer and are eager to leave the scene
when the murderers have left the train, Banquo's bloody ghost is shown rising from the dead
Stewart's version is more effective because:
as seen in the previous scenes, Macbeth asked two criminals to murder Banquo
he gives them a "choice" but the criminals know that they can't say no to Macbeth who is King so even if they don't want to murder Banquo, they are being forced into doing it
when discussing the plan with Macbeth, they give short replies which reflects on them being uneasy with the situation
Macbeth looks out on the courtyard of his castle filled with the soldiers of his enemy to find "he who was not born of a woman" and to fight him. Macduff challenges Macbeth to a fight. Macbeth puts up a good fight until the end.
Macbeth and Macduff fight for a long time while the soldiers and villagers watch.
Macbeth falls back on Macduff's sword and dies.
Macbeth is sitting alone at the dining table
Macbeth about to kill Macduff
Macduff finds him
they fight for a short period of time
Macbeth is about to kill Macduff when the 3 witches appear and he stops
the audience doesn't get to see Macbeth being killed
Macbeth seems defeated and puts up less of a fight
Stewart's version is more effective because:
the witches are portrayed as cruel and dangerous
in the movie, they kill the captain and take his heart
in the play they put a curse on a woman's husband just because she didn't give them a chestnut

Shakespeare wrote Macbeth for the Royal Family
King James I believed in witches and that they were evil so that's how Shakespeare portrayed them in the play
Stewarts's version is more effective because:
Macbeth's character fights until the end and never gives up
in the play, even when Macduff tells Macbeth that he was born by caesarian, thus not born of a woman, Macbeth states that he will not surrender because he doesn't want to kiss the ground in front of Malcolm
Macbeth's character is portrayed as courageous since he is the one who went looking for "he who was not born of a woman"
In Polanski's version, there is no talk between the murderers after they have killed Banquo.
since they don't necessarily want to do the murder, it makes more sense that they are nervous once they kill Banquo and learn that Fleance has escaped
In Polanski's version, Macduff is the one who actively looks for Macbeth
Macbeth is about to kill Macduff when the witches/nurses appear
Macbeth says "Enough" which shows that he recognizes that the witches are creating his own negative thoughts and so he banishes them, this is shown by the witches turning around and disappearing
he decides he doesn't want his actions to be influenced by what the witches have told him anymore, so he lets the events happen without him trying to control them
it appears that he allows Macduff to kill him
This is a different take on Macbeth's death and contrasts with the portrayal in the play where he fights to the death.
Overall, Patrick Stewart's version of Macbeth is more effective because of the way the witches are portrayed, the way the murderers are portrayed and their tone of voice and how Macbeth's actions are portrayed during the final battle.
By dressing the witches as nurses, Stewart added a double meaning to their appearance that is also portrayed in the play:
nurses are meant to be helpful but during the time the movie is set in, the Soviet Union, nurses weren't always to be trusted
in the play, Macbeth isn't sure if the witches are to be trusted or not
Full transcript