Discuss in detail Polanski's interpretation of Act One, Scene One of "Macbeth" and say how effective you found it.

Essay by plynn44 December 2002

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William Shakespeare is generally renowned as being the finest poet and playwright in the English language, and also being the world's most widely read author. Shakespeare was born on 23rd April 1564 in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire. By 1592 Shakespeare had attained success as an actor and playwright. After about 1608 Shakespeare's dramatic production lessened and he later died on 23rd April 1616.

Roman Polanski was born in 1933 in France, but lived in Krakow from an early age. His parents were sent to a concentration camp when he was twelve, but he was later reunited with his father. In 1969, Sharon Tate, Polanski's first wife, was brutally murdered. Later in 1977 Polanski pleaded guilty to the charge of intercourse with a minor. Polanski seems to reflect the bad, low times in his life in his films.

"Macbeth" is a tragic story partly based on the "Chronicles" by Raphael Holinshed. It was first performed in 1506 and later published in 1623.

The play is based on the tragedy of a man's conscience. During the play Macbeth changes from a person of strong but imperfect moral sense, to a man who will stop at nothing to get and keep what he wants. By the end of the play he has lost all emotion. This is brought about by the influence of the witches, and by power hungry Lady Macbeth and his ambition.

Polanski starts off his 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...