Roman Polanski's Interpretation Of The Witches And Shakespeare's Text

2436 words - 10 pages

Roman Polanski's Interpretation Of The
Witches and Shakespeare's Text

William Shakespeare wrote this pre-eminent Jacobean Tragedy for James
the 1st around 1603. The play is set in Scotland during the dark ages.
Shakespeare set the play in Scotland for the reason that James was
Scottish and his ancestors were kings during that time period in
Scotland. One of the major themes that can be seen throughout the play
is that of witchcraft and evil. This is a primary theme in the play as
James the 1st had a great belief in witchcraft and the powers they
possessed, he believed witches had conjured up storms and shipwrecked
him. To write the play Shakespeare used the Holinsheds chronicles as
his main resource. This was a book that contained records from the
dark ages of Scotland. In the same way Roman Polanski used
Shakespeare's text as his main resource to create his film. This is
evident in Polanksi's version as he sets the play during the same time
period Shakespeare set his Mac Beth.

As soon as we open act 1 scene 1, we immediately see the theme of the
subversion of nature and malevolence. The witches enter with thunder
and lighting in the background and instantaneously begin talking about
unsettling weather and war. Shakespeare uses the weather here to
create an eerie and unsettling atmosphere. The witches speak in
trohain tetrameter, which is a very fast smooth moving metre. This
gives the feeling that they have telepathic powers. In Polanski's
version of the play he uses discordant music that's sounds like
howling and lamentings to set the scene of evilness and treachery. He
uses a panoramic camera angle that shows us mountains and shows you
that the sun is rising. The camera then swoops down like an eagle
ready for the slaughter, to the witches were we see that the weather
is now dark and tedious. This shows that the witches have influence
over forces of nature. We see this also in the text as they talk about
what genre of weather they shall meet in next "In thunder, lightning,
or in rain?".

In the stage directions in the text it says that the scene is set at
an open place. In the film version we see Polanski setting the scene
at a desolate beach with the wind howling in the background. As the
witches perform the scene Polanski has them casting a spell using body
parts and a hangman's noose. The noose symbolises a murderer and the
witches are using this murderer to entice another murderer Mac Beth
into their world of deceit and treachery. Polanski's interpretation of
this scene is very inventive as at the time there was an ongoing war
between islanders and the king, naturally this would mean the battles
would be fought near the sea. Therefore there would be a lot of death
in the area and the witches need body parts from the dead soldiers to
perform certain spells.

...

Find Another Essay On Roman Polanski's Interpretation Of The Witches and Shakespeare's Text

The Partial Responsibility of the Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

4576 words - 18 pages witches may be destroying his mind, but the witches want more. The witches want Macbeth to lose his mind so that he will return to them again for more prophecy, and so that he will be mad enough to plunge Scotland into civil war. If this spirit was conjured up by the witches then it achieved the purpose that it was meant for. But whether it was just a figment of Macbeth's imagination remains unclear in the text. We do

The Dramatic Impact of The Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

1784 words - 7 pages The Dramatic Impact of The Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Witchcraft in the 17th centaury was frowned upon by the church as a result witches were feared and loathed in the community. Many people thought that they were directly connected to Lucifer (the devil). Their evidence of this was that the devils familiars came up from hell and drank the witches blood from devil spots (moles or birthmarks), in return for

The Importance of the Three Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

2218 words - 9 pages The Importance of the Three Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Works Cited Missing The witches, who are also known as the three sisters, play an important part in the play 'Macbeth' by William Shakespeare. I will discuss what impact the witches gave to the Elizabethans and what impact

The Importance of the Witches in Shakespeare's Macbeth

1677 words - 7 pages the ancient writers as the hero always had a choice but didn’t notice it. Shakespeare's play is different then the ancient tragedies. There seems to be nothing wrong with the predictions of the three witches as they promise fame and power. But the promise of the future greatness is also a real test for man. It’s probably no coincidence that Shakespeare introduces a dual prediction motif – both the fate of Macbeth as well as Banquo. Both Macbeth

The Power of the Witches in Shakespeare's Macbeth

1504 words - 6 pages The Power of the Witches in Shakespeare's Macbeth   The tragedy of Macbeth comes about because of a single event in his life. If that one moment, the meeting with the witches on the heath, had not happened then Macbeth would no doubt have gone on to be a loyal and respected subject of King Duncan and, later, King Malcolm. However, the meeting did happen and the powerful force of ambition was unleashed within Macbeth and Lady Macbeth

Macbeth by Shakespeare and the Cinematic Interpretation by Roman Polanski

2298 words - 9 pages atmosphere ,mood and the main themes of the original and therefore reflects Shakespeare's themes in his movie interpretation. I have greatly enjoyed both the original and Roman Polanski's version , both were very good each magnificent in its own way however, I personally favoured Polanski's over the original as he had access to all modern movie making equipment ,which in this day and age is very important .The original was

The Presentation of Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

1465 words - 6 pages The Presentation of Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Shakespeare is known all over the world for his advanced techniques in writing plays and the one I am studying is Macbeth. Macbeth was written for James the first, and was written because he was interested in witchcraft. In the 17th century witchcraft was frowned upon to say the least, and most people who practised witchcraft were burned at the stake. This was

Supernatural in Shakespeare's Macbeth - Purpose of the Witches

967 words - 4 pages The Purpose of the Witches in Macbeth     One purpose for having the witches in Shakespeare's play,  Macbeth, is to make a comparison between Macbeth's conscious world and Macbeth's unconscious, dream world. In this essay, I will touch upon Sigmund Freud's theories of dreams and the unconscious, and consider the nature of the witches and their relationship with Macbeth. I will also explore the relationship between witches and society, and

The Presentation of Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

4287 words - 17 pages The Presentation of Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Act 1 Scene 1 gives us our first impressions of the Witches. In Polanski and the stage play a definite atmosphere is created in the opening scene, when the witches plan to meet Macbeth when the fighting has finished and the battle is won. The first line in the play, Act 1 Scene 1 Line 1, the first witch says “when shall we three meet again?” I think the

The Role of Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

2206 words - 9 pages The Role of Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth In Macbeth the witches make a huge contribution to the play and the way it comes across to an audience. The witches portray many themes in Macbeth, such as the theme of fate, and the way that they are supposed to have the power of changing someone's fate, and the way they can control people using their power. The witches also depict a theme of pure evil, and the way

The Role of Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

1548 words - 6 pages The Role of Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Shakespeare has made the witches and their prophecies play a major part in the storyline and overall feeling of the play Macbeth. When he was returning from Denmark after his marriage, James first came in contact with witchcraft. A coven of witches in North Berwickshire had tried to practice the black arts against him. Being unable to obtain any of his clothes, they

Similar Essays

What Is Polanski's Interpretation Of Macbeth?

612 words - 2 pages "I see Macbeth as a young, open-faced warrior, who is gradually sucked into a whirlpool of events because of his ambition. When he meets the weird sisters and hears their prophecy, he's like the man who hopes to win a million--a gambler for high stakes.""You have to show violence the way it is. If you don't show it realistically, then that's immoral and harmful. If you don't upset people, then that's obscenity."(Quotes by Roman Polanski)Roman

Discuss In Detail Polanski's Interpretation Of Act One, Scene One Of "Macbeth" And Say How Effective You Found It

1952 words - 8 pages interpretation of Shakespeare's "Macbeth" with a scene of daybreak. The sky at the beginning is red, a colour associated with danger, hatred and most commonly, with the saying " Red sky in the morning, Shepherd's warning." The sky then turns from a sunny morning, to a dull overcast sky, which may link the witches with the darkness that they bring with them. This is largely different from Shakespeare's version of the play, as when the witches enter there is

Interpretation Alternatives Of Shakespeare's The Tempest

1278 words - 5 pages Interpretation Alternatives of The Tempest      A production of The Tempest should emphasize the idealized methods in which Prospero uses magic to solve the problem of revenge which is so prevalent throughout his tragedies, perhaps the production might be a direct allegory for the magic of the theatre itself.   In this conception of the play, the scattering and bringing together of the characters in the script is significant in that

The Reasoning For Shakespeare's Inclusion Of The Witches In 'macbeth'

1010 words - 4 pages The witches are vital elements in Shakespeare's 'Macbeth', not just to make it successful in Jacobean times, but also to add depth and atmosphere to the play. They are the root of disorder and are the trigger factor for the chaos that unfolds throughout the play. Shakespeare considered their role very carefully and included them for important reasons.In 1604, a year after he came to the English throne, James passed many laws on witchcraft