"The context of a play often determines how it is performed on stage or on film." Discuss in relation to Polanski's "Macbeth".

Essay by crimsonbutterflyHigh School, 11th gradeA+, July 2006

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"The context of a play often determines how it is performed on stage or on film."

Discuss in relation to Polanski's Macbeth. Ensure that your reference to characterisation, plot and design (i.e. Set, props, costuming) as well as the original text. (i.e. Including quotes)

Throughout history, performances of productions are commonly recreated to establish a new background for a recognized dramatic piece whether in theatre or film. The remaking of a production nevertheless promises an innovative perspective on the original, and thus an interpretation is created under the influence of background and experiences the director has encountered throughout their lifetime. Consequently, the performances and objectives of a production are largely determined by the context of which it was written or staged. An example of this is the 1971 film production of Macbeth, which is directed by Roman Polanski. This film is a dark interpretation of Shakespeare's original Macbeth, yet maintains the basic structure of the original text and themes such as; women, witches and kingship.

In comparison to the initial play written in Shakespearean context, these themes are transformed to complement its contemporary context and exposes Polanski's own attitudes towards society.

Shakespeare's Macbeth, set in Scotland during the eleventh century was specifically written in 1606 to be performed for King James, who had succeeded the English throne upon the death of Queen Elizabeth I. Under the patronage of the sovereign, Shakespeare honoured the king's Scottish pedigree by focusing on the character of Macbeth, an authentic figure from the Scottish monarch, and indicating acknowledgement to James's claims to have descended from the historical Banquo, founder of the Stuart line of kings. To further compromise the approval of King James, Macbeth is Shakespeare's shortest, yet one of his most concentrated and emotionally intense plays and in addition presents the theme of...