Analyse how the central values portrayed in Macbeth are creatively reshaped in Polanski’s Macbeth.
Shakespeare’s shortest and bloodiest tragedy, Macbeth tells the story of a brave Scottish general Macbeth who receives a prophecy from a trio of sinister witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed with ambitious thoughts and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and seizes the throne for himself. He begins his reign racked with guilt and fear and soon becomes a tyrannical ruler, as he is forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself from enmity and suspicion. The bloodbath swiftly propels Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to arrogance, madness, and death. Roman Polanski’s 1971 Macbeth is a disturbing version of the Shakespeare's work, with what was for the time graphic violence and nudity. And while Macbeth is undeniably a dark play, the tone of Polanski’s version is undoubtedly coloured by the death of his wife, Sharon Tate, and a group of friends, who were all murdered by members of the Manson Cult. This harrowing event occurred just months before Polanski began working on the Macbeth.
The three Witches introduces the repetition of the paradox “fair is foul and foul is fair” (Act 1 Sc 1) and convey the theme of the disruption of the natural order. Macbeth echoes similar words just before his first encounter with them, “so foul and fair a day I have not seen” (Act 1 Sc lll). This draws to the audience's attention the relationship that will form between Macbeth and the Weird Sisters. Dramatic irony is employed here, since Macbeth is unaware at this stage of the importance of his words. The audience though are able to see the connection, which creates dramatic suspense. His words highlight the contribution of the Witches to the events and outcomes of the play. Foreshadowing is one of the first dramatic techniques to be used in the play. In his meeting with the witches in (Act 1 Sc