'Macbeth': Film Analysis

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Kurzel’s adaptation of ‘Macbeth’ remains loyal and truthful to Shakespeare’s language and terminology, characters, setting and plot. It is obvious that the director did not want to deviate from tradition. However, within the midst of the traditional, the film explores later ideas that have arisen such as the appearance of a dead child in the opening scene. Since the play’s creation and debut on stage in the 17th century, theories and questions have been put forward by scholars and fans of Shakespeare outside of the academic field. This film familiarises and engages with the wider scholarly world with the inclusion of what could have been the Macbeth’s child. This film certainly brings the play to life in a new way that I have never witnessed…show more content…
It’s clear from the opening scene that their relationship is being tested with the death of their child. It appears that Lady Macbeth within the film is trying to cling onto Macbeth as she fears that she is losing him because of his traumatic depression and his strive for power. Therefore, to try and salvage her marriage, she turns to the darkness out of fear as well as to escape her fears. Cotillard makes reference to this idea in her interview with Film 4 (YouTube, 2015). The couple is seen trying to survive and repair their relationship through power and domination. However, this clearly fails to work as they drift further and further apart the more ambitious and powerful Macbeth gets. Therefore, it could be said that the film opposes the roles of their relationship that are within the play. Kurzel seems to make Macbeth the dominant force within the couple’s relationship, while Lady Macbeth is the dominant force of their relationship within the play. This difference can be attributed to Shakespeare’s desire to create strong female characters as seen in many of the playwright’s other works such as Viola from ‘Twelfth Night’ and Portia from ‘The Merchant of Venice’. The turning point of their relationship is the execution scene of the Macduffs. Lady Macbeth’s decent into madness allows her to flee a life that she thought she wanted but ultimately does not suit her…show more content…
If one has read ‘Macbeth’ a number of times, it is clear to recognise that there are large parts of the speeches and soliloquies that have been left out. However, Shakespeare’s story does not lose out as a result of the cutting down within this film adaptation. According to Kurzel in an interview with Film 4, the director stated that he did not want the soliloquies to lead the film (YouTube, 2015). I found that the way the soliloquies were presented in the film, as though the characters were in conversation with a figment of their imagination, to be a clever and inventive way to adapt a traditional screen version of Shakespeare’s work. It aids in the translation of their growing insanity and reclusiveness, but also in understanding post traumatic stress disorder that both Kurzel and Fassbender have claimed their adapted Macbeth to have (Film 4, YouTube, 2015). In this instance, it can be said that Kurzel and Fassbender have appropriated the character of Macbeth and his issues down to post traumatic stress disorder to ultimately bring the past to the present
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