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Macbeth: a film director`s approach - Essay Example

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Dabbling with evil has its repercussions. As a consequence, the minds of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth become dark and diseased. “Film noir envisions a world where political disintegration and paranoia indicate a continuing disintegration”. Interior monologue or soliloquy is a technique used by Shakespeare which discloses the cogitations of a character. The bloodbaths enacted by the Macbeths alienate them from normalcy to the point that their dispositions become fickle, indecipherable, and as a result, unstable.Paranoia is brought about by a troubled conscience and lack of sleep and the disturbed sleep results from their evil dealings. Because of their heavy mental burdens and poisoned consciences, both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth betray guilty consciences and crushing melancholy. Their tormented souls are not at peace as reflected in the soliloquies recorded in Act 5, Scene 1 and Act 5, Scene 5. When I do a filmic representation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth (1606), I will be considering: mise-en-scene, characterization, lighting, sound, time location, imagery/symbolism, film noir and gothic fiction. Act 5, Scene 1 introduces Lady Macbeth in the throes of mental illness. I incorporate gothic fiction in this production in view of the fact that it reflects the supernatural, the horrific and the dark. The setting features a gothic styled castle, with time placement in the late Medieval period. “Film noir displays the hallucinatory, nightmarish criminal world”, as such I plan to project the film noir genre because of the criminal content, evil presence and nightmarish outlook. The castle setting is a constant in Gothic literature where conspiracy and murder are spawned in Inverness castle., Macduff's castle and King Duncan's castle. The weather is dark and stormy. Thunder reverberates and periodically, lightning strikes. Usually, inclement weather is a mis-en-scene tactic utilized by many traditional gothic writers. (Bordwell 177) attests to the fact that “directors take advantage of the approaching lightning storm to create a dramatic backdrop to the action…the storm remains part of the mise-en-scene.” Hence the correlation between weather and action is unbreakable. “What’s done cannot be undone” (Act 5, Scene 1) re-echoes what Lady Macbeth’s saying to Macbeth in an effort to allay his fears after murdering King Duncan when she says, “what’s done is done” (Act 3, Scene 2). These lines are ironic since the very words used to console Macbeth are the words that haunt her. Emphasizing the irreversibility of their actions, her quote signifies that they cannot retrace their steps and live with regret. Instead, as a paired team they must be strong and face the consequences. Because of the unalterable acts committed, the Macbeths receive a reciprocated punishment for their crimes and fulfill the prophecies of the witches of Endor. The fulfillment of prophecy charts the course of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth with certain inevitability. They cannot escape. Another ironic element is that the Macbeths, the usurping monarchs, become undone in the end as a result of what they have done. From the apparition of the witches to Macbeth signaled their undoing. The downward spiraling commences from their overriding ambition, attending to evil, keen bloodthirstiness, hallucination, mental disorder and suicides. Their complicity and alliance with evil conclude in imminent ruin and are even reflected in the mise-en-scene. The mise-en-scene is a dark quarter outside Lady Macbeth’s room. The lighting is very weak – just enough to discern the face and outlines of the characters. The darkness casts a shadow over all the characters implicated in evil or not, while giving evil free rein to operate under its cover. I prefer a dreary and damp atmosphere with scarce lighting for it dampens any possibility for mirth and retains the air of horror and blatant evil. The squealing and flying of bats in the castle also carry another key in gothic fiction since ...Show more
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Dabbling with evil has its repercussions. As a consequence, the minds of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth become dark and diseased. “Film noir envisions a world where political disintegration and paranoia indicate a continuing disintegration”…
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