So Far Gone

Macbeth Journal entry #3

The new information we have discovered about the Macbeth’s are that they have successfully killed King Duncan. In terms of the main character Macbeth, my feelings toward him have changed drastically. He went from being the nice guy who everybody liked to murdering the king in cold blood. I would describe Macbeth as very easily influenced by others and caring a lot about what others think of him. I feel with the perception that people have of him, he will not be accused of the murders and get away as the new king. On the other hand, Lady Macbeth in my opinion is very ambitious and has one goal, and won’t let anybody get in the way of it. Something that has stayed consistent is her ambition and her nature has now come to life after convincing Macbeth to kill  Duncan.

Lady Macbeth and Macbeth in Roman Polanski's rendition of the play
Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in Roman Polanski’s movie rendition of the play “Macbeth”

As the future for Macbeth and the country of Scotland unfolds I have a variety of predictions. First, I see Macbeth not being able to stop his desire to kill now that he has been brainwashed by his wife, Lady Macbeth. Also, with Macbeth’s new found determination I see himself getting into a situation that may have no way out. With that said, I predict that the Macduff will be able to see through Macbeth’s fake identity and stop the new formed Tyrant from running Scotland into the ground. In regards to Lady Macbeth, I predict she will go on as if the murders never happened because of the little remorse she has showed. Finally, I predict that the guilt of Duncan’s death will not affect Macbeth or Lady Macbeth because of how ambitious the pair have gotten together. But, will the witches prophecy for Macbeth come true or will it just drive him insane?

Macbeth Brought to Life

Macbeth Journal entry #5

After watching Polanski’s rendition of “Macbeth” I was able to view the play from a visual perspective which I enjoyed a lot! The overall atmosphere portrayed in the movie is very dark and gloomy. In my opinion, it isn’t very effective because if you think back to when this play was performed, it would have been performed during the day. This would allow the audience to be surprised when all the killing occurs throughout the play. I would  rather be surprised than already be able to assume because of the dark nature seen in the movie. However, the lights used in the play creates a very dramatic and intriguing vibe. They are used very effectively to portray the different moods experienced throughout the play. For example, in the scene Macbeth tries to grab the floating dagger, the light used allows you to almost feel what it was like to not grab it. (Excuse the subtitles)

 

One of the best executed pieces of the movie was the music, which allowed me to connect very well to the actions. The best scene represented was that in which Macbeth is sitting on top of Duncan with the dagger in his hands and when Duncan awakes, he is greeted to multiple stabs from Macbeth which led to his death.

 

Something I’ve noticed throughout the many movies and TV series I’ve watched are that the music plays a key role! In this film, it is used very carefully to assure you can feel what the character is feeling through the different types and volumes of  music heard. Another strength in the movie was definitely the clothing, I couldn’t find anything they could have changed, not one thing! If we were to go back to the 15th century, that is exactly how they would have dressed, period.

Actor
Actor “Jon Finch” who plays Macbeth in Roman Polanski’s film

Aside from the visuals and audio, there’s the actual acting piece which I thought was good, but nothing special. The actors in the movie do play their part appropriately but it seems like they’re playing it safe. I don’t feel like the actors took risks to achieve the standards of the play set by Shakespeare. The one flaw that stood out to me were the killing and fighting scenes, they just didn’t seem realistic. But, something that could have made or broken the play was in regards to the lines and what was said and what was taken out. From what I saw and heard, Polanski edited the lines to a T, meaning they were perfect and flowed very nicely with the action in the movie. In regards to the pacing, I thought some of the scenes happened way too slow! the main one being the death of Macbeth and how long the fight between him and Macduff took before his tragic death which gave Scotland as a country, new life and a new leader. To conclude, in overall examination of Polanski’s big picture I would say he did an excellent job at capturing the tragedy of Macbeth and if I were being picky I would suggest some minor changes, one being the acting of Lady Macbeth and also making the play have a brighter setting to avoid giving away the end result. But, all and all, a great film by Roman Polanski.

The Perfect Porter

Macbeth Journal entry #4

In Polanski’s version of Macbeth, the Porter scene is very similar to that in the book. I find Shakespeare creates a very dark and scary setting when the Porter recites his soliloquy. But, in  Polanski’s movie I don’t get the same feeling. I think this mainly because this movie was created a long time ago and they obviously didn’t have the technology we have now to create a stronger message through props, and special effects. Although, the way Polanski executed the scene was excellent and was very easy to understand. In contrast to the movie and the book, I noticed Polanski had the Porter skip every few lines which wasn’t very noticeable unless examined thoroughly because of how well it flowed. However, in my opinion, the best version of the Porter scene is shown through the 2010 rendition of Macbeth . It is a spot on representation of the play written by Shakespeare. In comparison to Polanski’s, the lighting plays a KEY factor in achieving the right mood for the audience. This is seen in Macbeth’s 2010 re-make when the Porter becomes lost in the darkness at times and shows up from the flashes of lighting. If you skip to 1:08 in the video below you can see the positive effects the lighting plays.

Along with the lighting, the 2010 Macbeth rendition is directed to perfection with the execution of setting, props and wardrobe. First, the setting seems to take place in down town Detroit or New York. This creates a very sketchy and dark vibe to the audience. If Shakespeare were to create a modern day version of this scene the setting would be just that! Secondly, the props implemented in the scene, as well as the Porter allow the viewers to easily detect what is happening. the strongest prop I found was the bottle of alcohol and by seeing it in the Porter’s hand you could tell he had a little too much to drink. Last but not least, the wardrobe which was very simple but portrayed a strong message. The porter was dressed in a wife beater and what seemed to be lounge pants (pajamas or track pants). Just from seeing  the bottle in his hand and the way he was dressed, you could tell he wasn’t somebody you wanted to run into. To conclude,  All of those aspects put together create and best represent the atmosphere and mood of the play Macbeth written back in the 15th century.

 

Different Views of What we Once Knew

Macbeth Journal entry #1

1.) King Duncan – A very noble and trustworthy man. He sees Macbeth as a hero and crowns him Thane of Cawdor after the Rebel Thane was executed. In (I.v.14) King Duncan greets Macbeth as “Worthiest cousin”. This reveals he thinks of Macbeth as family, or blood related.

I disagree with the description because Duncan will soon find out Macbeth isn’t the man he reveals himself to be. I also disagree because Duncan is king, many people would love to be king. For example, Macbeth may be motivated to become King after receiving higher status because nobody would suspect him as the murderer.

2.) Other Thanes – They see him as the new kid in school. For example, Macbeth is new to the title given to him therefore they see Macbeth as very unacknowledged. This also has to do with the fact they don’t really know him. In (I.iii.135-136) the Thanes notice Macbeth’s distraught state but Banquo saves the day and tells them it is just Macbeth’s unfamiliarity with the title.

I agree with the Thanes opinion because they aren’t all just greeting Macbeth and becoming best friends right away like King Duncan. They are analyzing him and trying to figure out what kind of person he is. This is a proper approach to meeting new people because in the end, you may just get stabbed in the back.

3.) Lady Macbeth – She sees Macbeth as very weak and unwilling because of his soft nature. This is seen when she brings up her wish, which is for Macbeth to kill her husband, King Duncan. In (I.iv.17-18) Lady Macbeth says “It is too full O’ Th’ milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way.” This refers to Macbeth in which she thinks he is too weak to grab the Scottish crown. Therefore, the nearest way is to murder King Duncan.

I disagree with Lady Macbeth’s opinion because it is a lot easier to call someone else soft when you aren’t the one doing it. Macbeth has just been named Thane of Cawdor and now the Kings wife is planning for him to already to kill her husband. That’s a lot to take in if you’re him and I don’t think her judgement is fair.

4.) Macbeth – He is very humble at the beginning of the play and understands his role among the people. But as soon as he gets the prophecy from the three witches his mind is drowned in constant thought and confusion. Then, once Lady Macbeth speaks with him of her plans for him to murder her husband. That is when Macbeth starts to think about the situation and says to himself in (I.vii. 1-2) “If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well / It were done quickly”. He is saying that if everything could be over with as soon as Duncan is killed, then it would be best for Macbeth to kill him quickly.

I agree with this description because it is very accurate. After Macbeth gets the prophecy for his future from the witches he immediately changes, and not for the better. After the first prediction comes true he is now a strong believer that he will become king. But will he have the power to do what it takes to get the title…

5.) Nick Ciaglia – My own impressions of Macbeth are that he is a very good man and he knows his role among society and is happy with it. The only flaw he possesses is that he is very easily influenced , this could change everything in the story when the witches give him the prophecy of things to come.

Act 1, Scene 7 Soliloquies

This soliloquy adds to my understanding of Macbeth in a variety of ways. First, It seems as though Macbeth is starting to fathom the idea of killing Duncan. This is proven through line 7 where he says “We’d jump the life to come.” This means he would risk the chance of any life after death to kill Duncan. He also gets mad at King Duncan in line 17 “Hath borne his faculties so meek” This refers to Duncan as using his royal powers so modestly. This doesn’t alter my opinion on Macbeth because he is now starting to think more and more about killing Duncan. This is because of the ambition Lady Macbeth possess’ and the fact his reign as king was predicted by the three witches. This doesn’t surprise me because of how easily turned Macbeth is as a character. He states in line 4-5 “That but this blow might be the be-all and the end-all…” This line broken down means all that is needed to end everything. By killing King Duncan, complete chaos will arise and cause the death of many in the future on Macbeth’s quest to be King.

 

Lady Ambition

Macbeth Journal entry #2

My observations of Lady Macbeth are that she is very ambitious and manipulative. She has now told Macbeth of her plans for him to kill her husband. Macbeth is unsure of this idea and he thinks it will cause chaos among the people. Instead of giving up her plans and asking someone else, she tries to manipulate Macbeth by calling him soft and a variety of other words degrading his manhood.  By the end of Act 1 the words and the future of Macbeth being King start to persuade him to carry out the task. Although, i am curious as to whether she will regret killing her husband if the deed is ever fulfilled. Will she feel a sense of guilt if she is able to convince Macbeth to do it? Once she found out it was prophecy that Macbeth was to be King, she became more ambitious and knew she could use that to her advantage. If Macbeth were to ever kill Duncan I believe it would send the city in an internal war among the people. I also think Lady Macbeth would feel very guilty because of the part she played in her husbands death. Will she take her own life because of her mistakes? I Think she will, mainly because Scotland will never be the same if Duncan is murdered by Macbeth.