I always had the interest in plays, which portray mystery and the supernatural. My chance came when I visited the Bay area church, which was performing a classic, Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth. A man named Briggs directed it. The play is actually a tragedy of human ambitions; it also includes supernatural elements like ghost, witches, and apparitions. It is based on the killing of the king of Scotland and Banquo, Macbeth’s friend. Macbeth killed Banquo and Lady Macbeth kills Duncan, the king of Scotland. Biggs production of Macbeth portrayed a world of horror and chaos where ambition paid its price and the Machiavellian over reacher was dragged down to Earth on the upturn of his wheel of Fortune.
The play begins with the appearance of the three witches where they meet the two generals Banquo, Macbeth. We later find that the heinous crimes committed by Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have affected their psyche. Lady Macbeth is seen suffering from sleep walking malady and finally she kills herself. Macbeth is left alone to fight with the enemies after he has been crowned the King of Scotland. The play ends with the death of Macbeth. He is beheaded (Shakespeare, Gill). I have analyzed the play based on-
- Choice of costumes and the set design used
- Delivery of lines by the actor and the significant gestures, which contributed to the play’s meaning
- Special effects utilized
The choice of costume and the set design used.
The program note informed that the director designed the theme based on a 16th century mandala, which was present at the backdrop of the play. The play was spectacular. The supernatural scenes, which were played by three men, were exquisite. The witches looked perfect in their black gory dressed with their accompanying high-pitched voices. The dresses of the actors looked perfectly of the Elizabethan period. The dim lights and the shadowy backdrop reinforced the effect of darkness and mystery that portrayed though out the play. To enhance their effect the witches were dressed in rotting costumes, which were types of shrouds.
Delivery of lines by the actor and the significant gestures, which contributed to the play’s meaning.
The porter scene was also very symbolic. The drunken porter went on rambling about the inner hell of Macbeth’s castle. His drunken yet appropriate metaphors not only enhanced the plays but also lifted to another level. The sleepwalking scene of Lady Macbeth is also nerve chilling because it shows the complete disintegration of her psyche. It is seen that she tells to herself that not all the perfumes of Arabia would sweeten her hand. By this she means that the crimes that were committed by these hands could not wash away and the heinous deeds were as if smelling even after they had been washed away repeatedly. The doctor informs later the audience that she used to keep on washing her hands. We understand that the blood of Duncan, which had spilled over onto her, hands were the reason for which Lady Macbeth kept on washing her hands. The actors especially the part of Macbeth, which was played by Ethan Stone, was highly intriguing. His delivery of lines contributed to the aptness of the overall play. Special incorporation of the lines such as those, which indicate the night by the characters, made the play easier to understand the events conducted during different days and completely blends the time schedule of the play.
Special Effects utilized.
The most intriguing scenes were of the supernatural. The appearance of the ghosts or apparition, which were conjured by the witches who prophesized for Macbeth were gruesome to watch.. Banquo’s ghost is the turning point of the play. It represents the manifestation of Macbeth’s guilt. Macbeth is constantly faced with his own guilt throughout the play. He commits the crime but he is not ruthless we understand this by the harrowing suffering which he undergoes after committing the crime. The menacing moment of the play is the beheading of Macbeth. It demarcates the division of the mind and the body. In addition, the beautiful way that the entire imagery of the play was captured by the actors and the director was remarkable. The play completely took the audience into it and we all had become a part of the heath in which Macbeth and Banquo first met the witches. The final fulfilling of the prophecies of Birnam wood coming to Dunsinane hill was aptly potrayed on the stage by the use of tree branches. Shakespeare himself was the greatest playwright of all times and seeing this great play being enacted again just moved me. The use of shadowy light settings, and the regular uses of the colour black and red, even the use of the red lights and the dark backgrounds gave the play the feeling of mystery and supernatural events. From the setting to the light and sound, the appearance of the supernatural was just perfect. The actors performed commendably. The fall of Macbeth instilled in me the feeling that even great men can be moved and seduced by desires and Macbeth himself was responsible for his own hammartia. Overall, the play was excellent as it brought home the entire feelings, mood and settings of the actual play written by Shakespeare.
Shakespeare, William, and Roma Gill. Macbeth. 1st ed. Oxford [England]: Oxford University Press, 1992. Print.