1. Roman Polanski chooses to stage the murder of Duncan, something that Shakespeare wrote in Macbeth as offstage action. Not only do we see the murder of Duncan, which is vicious and leaves no doubt that Macbeth is an evil, violent man, which I don't think was Shakespeare's intention, but we see a violent death for Banquo and a grisly death of the first Thane of Cawdor also. Roman Polanski also eliminates a great deal of the dialogue, cutting it down substantially throughout the production. We see Macbeth crowned King in the movie, also Polanski adds a dream scene for Macbeth, where he envisions Fleance trying to steal his crown, and then tries to kill Macbeth with the help of his father, Banquo. Polanski takes away the subtlety of Shakespeare's work by hitting us over the head with violence. The film is very dark, and does not employ the colorful imagery in the play, just plays up the violence. Another difference between the original and Polanski's version is the scene where MacBeth kills the king, Duncan. In the original, Shakespeare was not allowed to show the death of a divine right ruler, so he showed MacBeth coming out of the king's bedchamber after he had committed the murder. For Polanski's version, however, he had no such limitation, and could show anything that he chose, so he showed the actual murder of Duncan, where Duncan wakes up, and MacBeth cuts his throat after stabbing him. The reason that Polanski inserted this scene was to show how cold-blooded MacBeth was, and that he would do anything to achieve his goal of becoming king.
For cinematic purposes, passages from the original play were cut for time and some soliloquies changed to inner monologues for the sake of psychologic realism.
In Polanski's version, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are played by actors younger than has been tradition. In the person of twenty-six-year-old Francesca Annis, Lady Macbeth is a softer, tamer woman than is usual.
Her strength and sanity crumble at a horrific...