Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Thursday Times

Today we watched the Lady Macbeth scene from the three different films: Royal Shakespeare Company, English Shakespeare Company, and Roman Polanski’s version. Here is a brief summary of each one:
In Royal Shakespeare Company’s version of Macbeth, the setting is a simple black backdrop with heavy shadows. Lady Macbeth wears all black clothing including a head wrap. The simplicity of the film puts emphasis is on the character’s faces, Lady Macbeth in particular. She stands holding the worn letter in her hands while reciting it aloud with a facial expression showing much deliberation. When the man comes to deliver the news that the king is coming to visit, her eyes fill with a look of wonderment. She crouches on the ground and speaks in soft muffles while the news sinks in. Macbeth then arrives and they gaze into each other’s eyes, kiss, and talk about the King’s visit.
English Shakespeare’s Macbeth is set in what seems like modern day. Lady Macbeth reads the letter aloud in the comfort of her home. As the news of the witches prophecies sink in, she gets up and begins pacing around her house formulating a murder plan. After a man delivers the news of the King’s arrival, she lights the letter on fire and speaks as she watches it burn. She goes outside to greet (and kiss) Macbeth. At this point techno music starts playing and the film shows the King getting off a boat wearing a tux and shades. Very Elizabethan era! :)
Roman Polanski’s version is my personal favorite. It takes place in an extravagant stone castle in a fertile mountainous scene. Lady Macbeth has long red hair and wears an aqua blue long flowing gown. The camera follows her through her vast castle as she recites the letter. Dogs and birds wander around in the lofty spaces. Then she drops the letter in a lock box and goes to the top of the castle to reveal her thoughts. Macbeth and many men on horseback return to the castle. Lady Macbeth and Macbeth go into their lavish bedroom and kiss while they scheme up a plan.
The 5-paragraph essay should compare quotes from Macbeth and how the three movies take a different viewpoint on them. I picked this quote: “That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe, top-full of direst cruelty!” Shakespeare (1. 5. 47-49) we are practicing how to write a proper Shakespeare quote. You list the (act. scene. line).
We also reviewed for our quiz on Act 1, which will be tomorrow. Mrs. Smith says the quiz will be a “doozie!” If you have further questions, Mrs. Smith encourages kids to post them on the blog.
To summarize, the homework is as follows: Read LOF 7-8 and annotate (due by Monday), study SAT words and complete lessons in book (due tomorrow), Review for the Macbeth Act 1 quiz (tomorrow), and create outline (write intro, first paragraph, and conclusion paragraphs) for Lady Macbeth scenes (due Monday)

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