Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Macbeth Cinematic/Thematic Essay


A.) (1.5.60) “Look like th’ innocent flower but be like the serpent under’t.” – Lady Macbeth

B.)This quote is very significant to the storyline as a whole. This quote can be categorized under the “things aren’t always as they seem” theme. In this scene Lady Macbeth is talking to Macbeth, and she is trying to convince him to be power hungry and to murder King Duncan. Word for word she is saying that Macbeth should try to look innocent on the outside, but on the inside he should be ruthless and unforgiving. What this shows us about Lady Macbeth is that she is power hungry herself, and that she has the power in this relationship. This quote really shows what kind of person Lady Macbeth is and how she is secretly diabolical, even though everyone else in the play views her as a nice person.

C.)The scene in the film does a pretty good job at capturing the essence of this quote. This quote is almost a point of realization for Macbeth, and the film captures it perfectly. The scene is shot in a kitchen that is pretty dark and dreary. There is eerie music playing in the background when the quote is spoken. The camera is still throughout the scene to show the importance of the quote, and the camera is at eye-level. The actor’s actions during this scene are what really make it powerful. After Lady Macbeth spoke, Macbeth has an awe-struck facial expression because he can’t really believe that his wife is telling him to do this.

D.)I personally thought that this quote was executed as well in the film as it was in the play. It had equally as much power in the play and the film. I didn’t really gain any new or deeper understanding for the quote but I thought it was interesting watching it on film, because that’s not what I would have pictured in my head when I was reading the play.


A.) (4.2.86) “Be bloody, bold, and resolute, for none of women born shall harm Macbeth.” – Second Apparition

B.) This quote is significant to the play because this ends up affecting Macbeth throughout the rest of the story. Basically what the witches are saying is that no one who is born from a woman can possibly harm Macbeth. As we know, everyone is born from a woman, so therefore no one on earth can possibly harm Macbeth. This starts to get into Macbeth’s head and he believes that he cannot be harmed by anyone. This tells us that Macbeth will believe in anything and that he is pretty weak. Overall Macbeth does not know how to think for himself, and he is always looking for others to guide him. He is easily influenced by what others say and think and that makes him a weak character. This quote can belong to the “superstition affects human behavior” category because it is just a false prophecy that he believes.

C.) In the film this scene is meant to be kind of frightening for viewers and it is also meant to be dark. In this scene the witches are in what looks to be an operating room next to bodies that are on operating beds, set in a very light environment. The lighting is almost pure white, and the music is like a typical horror music that you hear in horror films. Throughout when the quote is being said the camera is shaking, and it is fixed on the witch and the dead body. What really makes this scene a powerful scene is that the camera is shaking while we are viewing the witches. This gives the sense of urgency and it makes for a frightening scene. The horror music also added to the essence of the scene, and made it an intense scene to watch.

D.) I believe that the scene from the film was much more powerful than the scene from the play. The music and the visuals just made it a lot more of a memorable scene than it was in the play. I did not gain much more of a deeper understanding of the quote, but I did end up enjoying it a lot more in the film than the play.


A.) (4.2.5) “When our actions do not, our fears do make us traitors.” - Lady Macduff
B.)This quote could be categorized into the “things aren’t always as they seem” section. This quote occurs in the play when Lady Macduff is talking to Ross right before she gets killed by Macbeth and his assassins. When he says this she is talking about Macduff because he has fled to England, and she is saying that even though he is not a traitor, he still looks like one if ran away. This quote doesn’t really tell us much about Lady Maduff but it does tell us that Macduff is going to be viewed as a traitor because he is running away.

C.) This scene in the movie is probably the scene that has the most amount of natural light in it. This scene occurs when the Macduff’s are in their apartment/house and they are talking in a dressing room. In this scene the camera shots at Ross from a low angle and makes him seem more powerful. I think that the director did this because in this scene Ross is carrying an important message and they want him to be the center piece in this scene. Lady Macduff and her children are all shot at eye level during this scene. Even though there I not much music during this scene there is a sense of urgency and seriousness during this scene and the director does a really good job at making this part of the story an important one.

D.) I thought that this quote was presented much better in the movie than it was in the play because the acting and directing was very good in this scene. The quote did not seem very powerful to me in the play but when I saw the film I gained a much better appreciation for the quote. Overall I thought that the lighting, directing, acting, and the music really made it more appealing to watch in the movie, than it was to read in the play. After watching the movie I was able to understand how people viewed Macduff because he has fled.


A.) (1.3.50-70) “All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter! […] Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none: So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo.” – Three witches.

B.) This quote is important to the play as a whole because it heavily influences Macbeth throughout the rest of the story. Macbeth ends up believing the witches and he soon wants to be the king. This drives him to commit murder and for him to be power hungry. This quote fits in the “power corrupts” quote category because it displays what first makes Macbeth become a tyrant.

C.) During this scene in the film Macbeth was confronting the three witches in a dark chamber like room. The minute amount of light there was, was shining down at an angle upon Macbeth’s face. This gave an empowering effect upon Macbeth and it made him seem like the central point of the scene. This scene was shot entirely at eye level and would go back and forth between the witches and Macbeth talking. I thought that this scene was not as well-done in the film as it was in the play. The film version seemed to lack excitement during this scene and it wasn’t that interesting because it was shot in a dark room.

D.) I enjoyed reading this scene more in the play than I did watching it in the film. It could have just been the way I heard it being read in class, or it could have been because the lighting was dark. Either way I though the quote was much more powerful in the play than it was the film.

1 comment:

  1. 2. Although I did not choose any quotes from Lady Macduff, I chose a quote said by the son in the very same scene. The way you analyzed the scene was similar to the way I did. I too mentioned how the scene had a lot of light and how there was not much noise. I also examined the camera angles of the characters who enter to the dressing room.
    3. My favorite quote was the one by Lady Macduff, “When our actions do not, our fears make us traitors.” I like how Lady Macduff phrases what she says here. This scene seems to provide a lot of interesting quotes. This quote is also very significant concerning the movie’s themes.
    4. “Be bloody, be bold, and resolute, for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth” was the quote most interestingly presented in the movie. This was during Macbeth’s second visit to the witches. When the witches talk through the dead bodies the scene gets even creepier than normal. The scene, in the film, portrayed how twisted the witches are and how easily influenced Macbeth is.