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The Contrast Between Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Roman Polanski’s Macbeth

Page 1 of 3
Avneet Saini
Mrs. Fera
ENG3U0-D
November 2nd, 2012
The Contrast between Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Roman Polanski’s Macbeth Shakespeare’s play Macbeth is a tragedy that plots the fall and death of once a great man, revealing how ambition can lead to downfall. Many directors and producers have tried to portray his play into modern films but Roman Polanski produced the most successful Macbeth film, but Roman Polanski’s movie Macbeth changes many details that the viewer is unable to fully experience the catharsis. Tragedy is built on the idea that the audience can sympathize with the tragic hero and therefore experience a strong emotional response at the ending. They both were based on the same plot however Polanski’s Macbeth is not a proper tragedy when compared to Shakespeare’s Macbeth because of the difference in the relationship between Donnalbain and his brother Malcolm, the focus of death and violence, and lastly the key modifications that are seen through the different approaches of the characteristics and acts of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. During Roman Polanski’s film it is noticed that Donnalbain envies his brother Malcolm, thus creating more mysteries and suspense. Their relationship was so similar in the play however in the film it seems as if Donnalbain does not like his brother because during the time when King Duncan was alive, Malcolm was given the title as the Prince of Cumberland and Donnalbain received no title or land from their father.  After Malcolm was crowned, it appeared as Donnalbain was jealous and upset because of the way Donnalbain expresses his facial appearance and his attitude towards Malcolm. Yet, in the play after the death of King Duncan, Donnalbain fled to Ireland and did not return through the whole play. Another aspect that in the film which was so different was the ending of the film. In the play, Malcolm stated a famous speech to end the play, “What’s more to do, which would be planted newly with the time, as calling home our...

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