The first major difference in Polanski’s Macbeth is showing the execution of the Thane of Cawdor. In the play, during Act 1 Scene 4 Malcolm summarizes the execution as offstage action:
“They are not yet come back. But I have spoke
With one that saw him die, who did report
That very frankly he confess’d his treasons,
Implor’d your highness’ pardon, and set forth
A deep repentance. Nothing in his life
Became him like the leaving it. He died
As one that had been studied in his death,
To throw away the dearest thing he ow’d
As ‘twere a careless trifle”(Shakespeare I.iv.3-11).
In Polanski’s movie, a scene is added showing the Thane’s execution. The scene shows the Thane of Cawdor on a platform in a noose. His last words were ‘Long live the King’ before you see the Thane jump off the platform, dieing instantly. By showing the death of the original Thane of Cawdor Polanski is creating a dark mysterious tone that will be carried on throughout the film, as well as foreshadowing the death of the new Thane of Cawdor, Macbeth.
In the first Act, when the witches tell Macbeth three prophecies he is most interested... [continues]
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