Stage Directions in Macbeth

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Essay – Stage Directions in Macbeth
Shakespeare gives very few stage directions to guide directors and actors in the staging of the play, Macbeth. How does the text of the play give us indications of the way it is to be performed? Support you answer with examples form Act 1.

William Shakespeare is one of the most studied authors until this day. He has created the world- renowned plays of ‘Romeo and Juliet’, ‘Hamlet’ and many more. His shortest tragedy, Macbeth, written somewhere between 1603 and 1607 is based upon a regicide (the killing of a king) and its aftermath. It is evident that throughout the play, Shakespeare gives very few stage directions. This means that that actors and directors have to interpret the play and staging from the texts. When needed the text gives very short, but informative stage directions to guide the actors as to where they should be. It should also be mentioned that Shakespeare by his stage directions in ‘Macbeth’ gives appropriate scopes to the director to modify and add personal touches. Also, through the words of the play, some stage directions are implied.

In the writing of Macbeth, Shakespeare gave very short and sweet stage directions to let the directors and actors know what was happening very quickly. ‘The King’s headquarters: alarum within.’ (Act 1 Scene 2)This tells is that the setting is in the King’s castle/ home and a trumpet is playing in the background. With these five words, the director and actors get the setting, the mood and a sense of patriotism is regards to the trumpet. Using these short stage directions is easy to understand as well as keeping the stage shorter. A opposed to some other plays, in which have paragraphs of stage directions with too much detail and not allowing any space for interpretation, Macbeth is clear and straight to the point. Having shorter stage directions allows the director and actors to give the play a personal touch rather than staying very strictly to the directions of the...
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