This paper compares the film and the play to determine whether the film reflects an updated version of Shakespeares original theme, or something else altogether.
Thethemes of the play, which were pretty-much new with Shakespeare and very radical in his time, are (1) young people ought to be allowed to marry for love, not just whoever their parents choose for them; (2) young people's tragedies likely result from their parents' stupidity and meanness; (3) love matures people, and gives dignity, meaning, and beauty even in the worst of circumstances.
It concludes that while Shakespeare saw Prosperos reign as one of benevolence and Fowles saw Cleggs as a reign of terror, both involved manipulating people against their will.
The paper looks at the way Olivier interpreted the character of Richard through five soliloquies delivered in the film, and determines whether these long looks into the contents of Richards soul make him a sympathetic character.
Macbeth, for whom life is a painfulmeaningless enterprise, speaks of Duncan sleeping peacefully indeath "after life's fitful fever"; part ofMacbeth's own punishment is to be aninsomniac, and Lady Macbeth's is to sleepwalk.
At the start of the play Lady Macbeth is devious and scheming, as she is determined Macbeth will become King but in the end Lady Macbeth is destroyed by ambition and greed as it turns her insane. Initiatly Lady Macbeth spurs Macbeth on as she believes Macbeth is not capable of murdering Duncan. Lady Macbeth plans Duncan’s murder and manipulates Macbeth into going ahead with it. However after the murder of Duncan Lady Macbeth becomes weak. Lady Macbeth is suffering from troubled sleep, nightmares, and loss of appetite. But hides the distress. But later on her guilt overpowers her and a doctor is employed to watch her. Lady Macbeth is hugely disturbed as she obsessed with washing her hands to clean the blood she sees and smells, speaks vivid recreations of the murders, sleepwalks and talks in her sleep. “This disease is beyond my practice.” Act 5, Scene 1 (page 213) The doctor cannot cure the mental disturbance and warns them he suspects she is suicidal. Lady Macbeth later on dies. It is demonstrated that ambition and greed turned Lady Macbeth from scheming and devious to weak and disturbed. The description “fiend-like queen,” is an accurate description as this is all Lady Macbeth amounts to.
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Shakespeare also included other enthusiasms of the King in the play. James had written a book called Basilikon Doron, which looks at the theme of kingship. In the book, James identifies the ideal king as one who does his duty to God and to his country and who is also a man of spotless personal integrity. In the play, Shakespeare, too, explores this topic, with the character of Malcolm representing the template of the ideal king. In addition, the idealised portrait of Edward the Confessor, the 'holy king' who has the power literally to heal his people, would come across to a contemporary audience as an indirect tribute to James himself. James was also very interested in the supernatural, and had written a paper called Daemonologie on the subject. During his reign as King of Scotland, James is known to have been directly involved in some witch trials at North Berwick. Women were regularly burnt as witches, and Shakespeare presents his witches unequivocally as powerful and evil emissaries of the devil. In his day, the majority of the general public, too, believed in witches and the power of the supernatural, and the witch scenes would have been taken very seriously.
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Hearing of this, Macbeth just says"She should have died hereafter", meaning "Sheshould have picked a different time to die."He then launches into English literature'smost famous statement of the meaninglessness of life.
Holinshed spends a lot of time on the incident in whichMalcolm (who became a popular king) tests Macduffby pretending to be mean when he is really nice.
While people pretended to believe in"the divine right of kings" and "lawful succession", continuing effective leadership was assured by warlords killingoff the less capable family members.The name "Macbeth" means "son of life",and is a Christian name rather than a patronymic (hence the "b"is lower case.) Macbeth would have signedhis friends' high schoolyearbooks "Macbeth mac Findlaech"(McFinley).