Macbeth was set in 11th century Scotland, which was a very violant place. Scotland was very unstable, families were always fighting to control land and people were always invading from other countries.
Macbeth was born in 1005 and married the granddaughter of the king. King Duncan was ineffective and was killed at 38 years old, possibly by Macbeth. Macbeth was elected king in 1040 and ruled for 17 years. He was a good king who brought stability to Scotland. He was killed on the 15th of August 1057.
When the play was created England was fasinated by witches and witchcraft. Even the king james I was intreguied by it. So Shakespeare creates the story with witches in it, when there probably wasn’t any witches involved at all.
In Act 1 Scene 2 Banquo receives an offer of a bribe from Macbeth to say nothing about the witches. Banquo refuses because of his loyalty to king Duncan, this hints at a future problem for Macbeth. Macbeth then has a vision of the dagger he might be going to kill the king with. It is leading him to Duncan’s bedchamber. He talks to it but realise it is a halucination when he tries to touch it but can’t. Dramatic tension is created for the audience, will Macbeth kill the king or will he stay loyal to Duncan?
In Act 2 Scene 2, Macbeth returns to the stage after killing the king in his sleep. Macbeth then goes on to tell of the after effects of killing and the disbelief than he has done something so terrible.
In Act 2 Scene 3 the porter has to answer the door while macbeth is still in shock. More tension is created here, will Macbeth get caught red handed or will he be able to disguise the murder so it looks like the guards did it? And will the body be found? This scene is created to really get the audience into the play and get them gripped by it.
Act 2 Scene 2 shows that even though Lady Macbeth had to get drunk to help with the murder she is still well in control of the situation. This is because she is ordering Macbeth about while he is still in shock from killing Duncan who he served so loyally. Macbeth normally seems strong and fearless yet when he kills the king he seems weak, disorientated and vulnerable like a child. He needs ordering about by his wife, which was considered weak in the 11th century. Macbeth is guilty about what he has done straight away where as Lady Macbeth is the dominant partner. She wants Macbeth to feel better so she takes the daggers back and smears the guards in blood. She is still weak because she couldn’t kill the king because he looked like her father and she had to get drunk to take part in the murder.
Macbeth and Lady Macbeth show very distinct differences. During the crisis Lady Macbeth is strong and in command where as Macbeth is weak and lost. He feels so guilty he says he’ll never get another good nights sleep ever again, and that if he were to wash his hands in the ocean the whole ocean would turn to blood instead of washing his hands clean.
In Act 2 Scene 2 the director would use low lighting because it makes it more mysterious and eery. Macbeth would enter the room with blood all over his hands and clothes and he would either stand up or situp against a wall starring into space because he doesn’t know what is really happening. Lady Macbeth will already be stood in the middle of the room giving him orders, which he is ignoring. With Lady Macbeth being in the middle of the room she seems like she is an autority figure and like she controls the whole room. Macbeth would be wearing something dark that still shows blood up because dark shows the evil in him and the blood will make it looks more dramatic. As Macbeth goes into his speach about how he will go to hell and never be able to prey again he will be in total darkness so the audience wonder what he is doing and what he looks like.
Lady Macbeth should be wearing a lighter outfir than Macbeth because it shows she’s not as evil as him. She will be talking very fast and walking around the room while she is giving Macbeth orderd because it shows she’s panicing but knows what to do about it. Macbeth will speak to Lady Macbeth rather slowly because he is disorientated and will be thinking of what he has just done.
Owls will make sounds every few breaks in speech to add to the scary effect of the scene. A black cat will also be onstage doing what it wants because this also adds to the eery effect.
In Elizabethan time the play would have been played all by men and would of been more dramatic because people were easily caught up with the tension and the actors had to put on a good performance to avoid food being thrown at them. The stage would be covered in hay but wouldn’t have the whole castle, just a few walls to make it seem like a castle. The blood on Macbeth’s hands would be some kind of paint or dye.
Polanski – Polanski’s version of Macbeth is set as if it was in 11th century Scotland. Act 2 Scene 2 is set in a proper castle. This version is very dramatic because the audience actually get to see Macbeth kill the king. When Macbeth kills the king in his sleep the crown rolls away to suggest he has lost his thrown, the audience would be shocked by what he has just done. Macbeth returns to the big open courtyard which suggets he is all alone. The acting is good from Macbeth and Lady Macbeth because during the relevant scenes Lady Macbeth starts to cry and then collapses, pretending to faint.
“Macbeth on the estate” – this version is set during the present. Duncan is head of a gang that owns an estate. Macbeth throws a party where everyone gets drunk. After Macbeth kills Duncan he goes back to his bedroom. The rooms are very close together and people are asleep which adds to tension. This version isn’t as dramatic as the others because he just kills the king, nothing else interesting happens which could make it more dramatic. Like the police could call about a complaint about the noise. This version doesn’t work properly because it tries to blend the present with the old language which spoils it and makes it dull and boring. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth aren’t that good at acting because Macbeth doesn’t seem too concerned that he has just killed the king and when Lady Macbeth pretends to faint she slowly falls to the ground which suggests she is faking it.