Macbeth - Presenting The Ghost Scene [If you were a movie/play director, how would you present the Banquet Scene in Macbeth? Would you choose to make the Ghost visible or invisible?

Essay by gingyHigh School, 10th gradeA, December 2004

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Directing a movie or a play is never easy, especially when the movie or play is based on a Shakespearean work. In Macbeth, for example, there are quite a number of challenges, one of the main ones being the Banquet Scene in which Banquo's ghost appears before Macbeth. To make the ghost visible or to leave it to the imagination? That is the question.

Fortunately, there are many different possibilities. Some might suggest casting an actor, others might use a hologram, but I prefer making the ghost invisible to the audience. I find that leaving the role blank creates a more intriguing setting and brings us closer to what Macbeth's guests at the feast were thinking and feeling. It creates fearful suspense and gives way to the imagination, therefore forcing the audience to pay more attention to what Macbeth is saying, thus creating a mental picture to go by.

One may notice that there are a quite a few descriptions of the ghost by Macbeth, suggesting that the audience doesn't know what it looks like, and meaning Shakespeare never meant for the ghost of Banquo to be shown.

"Never shake

Thy gory locks at me."

"When now I think you can behold such sights,

And keep the natural ruby of your cheeks,

When mine is blanched with fear."

"Thy bones are marrowless, thy blood is cold;

Thou hast no speculation in those eyes

Which thou dost glare with!"

It is quite obvious that only Macbeth sees the ghost, as one can see here:

"What sights, my lord?"

Lady Macbeth also refers to the dagger that appeared before Macbeth earlier on in the play, right before Macbeth killed Duncan. Once again it is mentioned that the dagger was a figment of Macbeth's imagination, and therefore not a corporeal object. There...