Comparing Three Video Versions of William Shakespeare's Macbeth
To help us compare and contrast the three video versions of "Macbeth"
Act 1, Scene 7, we watched them. The first version was a more modern
and in a way futuristic recreation of the scene, starring John Gordon
Sinclair as Macbeth and Louise Lombard playing Lady Macbeth. The
second version was a B.B.C Television version, the scene was made as a
one off with Nicol Williamson playing Macbeth and Jane Lapotaire
playing Lady Macbeth. The third version was a film produced by Roman
Polanski and was no doubt the most detailed of the three. In
Polanski's version John Finch played Macbeth and Francesca Annis
played Lady Macbeth.
Scene 7 has been created to emphasise Macbeths' doubts about murdering
the King, for it is the only way he will become King himself, as the
three witches proclaimed. At one point his mind is set that he will no
longer go ahead with the murder for it is far too risky, but his
persistent wife restores his confidence once again, she is clearly the
backbone of this plan. All three of the versions use the original
dialogue for the conversation between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth written
by Shakespeare all those years ago.
In the first version the costumes worn by Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are
noticeably ahead of their time considering the time period in which
the play was set. Macbeth wears what looks like a twentieth century
costume, a dinner suit under a cloak, fairly modern for its time.
Macbeth's evening clothes show wealth and position. Lady Macbeth wears
a sparkling metallic gown and a necklace both items of clothing show
her obvious wealth and social position. Both these outfits overall are
extremely modern for their time, and show wealth and position.
In the BB.C version the costumes the two actors wear are a lot more
flamboyant. Macbeth's costume is very well decorated, the dress code
is suited to the time period much better than the modern version. But
like the modern version, Macbeth's appearance shows his wealth and
position. Lady Macbeth wears a dark red dress, which may have some
sort of link to the evil mood created by the dark setting and planning
of murder. She also wears many pieces of jewellery, adding to the
wealthy impression given off by her appearance. Once again both
outfits show wealth and position, as intended.
In the third version, Polanski's version, the actor's costumes are
very similar to the costumes in the B.B.C version, but are clearly not
as modern as those in the modern version. Macbeth's clothes are very
much like that of a knight. Macbeth wears jewellery including a large
chain, worn much like the clothes and jewellery in the other two
versions, to symbolise wealth and rank. Lady Macbeth wears an
extremely definitive white dress, a rarity in the time the play is