Macbeth Scene Analysis Essay Prompt: Select one of the following scene options. In a 3-5 page essay, analyze and evaluate the director’s interpretation of the scene. - Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth -- I.i-ii (the opening scene – 0:01:00-0:06:40+) - Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth – II.i (the Dagger scene – 0:33:30 – 0:37:00 and 0:38:00 - 0:43:00) - Roman Polanski’s Macbeth – III.i (Macbeth plots to kill Banquo) - Roman Polanski’s Macbeth -- IV.ii (Lady Macduff’s scene – 1:36:30-1:41:30) - Rupert Goold’s Macbeth – I.i (opening scene – 0:00:30-0:05:00) - Rupert Goold’s Macbeth – II.iii (the Porter scene – 0:48:00-0:51:00) - Michael Bogdanov’s Macbeth – IV.i (the Witches – 0:54:00-0:59:00) Due Dates: Brainstorm -- March 23/24 –Watch your scene at least three times. Complete the brainstorm sheet Outline – March 27/28 –Complete the outline. The outline should have your thesis and a clear topic and purpose for four to five body paragraphs. Label each
paragraph as Analysis or Evaluation Rough Draft – March 29/30 – 3 page minimum + works cited; MLA format. Final Draft – April 6/7 – 3-5 pages + works cited; MLA format; printed copy & submit toTurnitin.com Hints: -Support your analysis through reference to both the film and the original text. -Consider choices that are unique to that scene as well as those that recur throughout that version of Macbeth (a modernized setting, for instance). -Consider choices relating to film techniques (lighting, sound, camera angles, etc.) as well as choices unrelated to technique (omitted lines, added actions, shifts in scene, etc.) -Avoid concluding that the director’s decisions made the scene more dramatic. This conclusion is vague and a bit obvious, as almost every decision aims to heighten the audience’s interest in the scene. Don’t settle for vague and obvious. -Don’t try to cover too many choices. Select details and observations that are unified in helping you reach your
conclusions. -Avoid the pitfall of evaluating this solely on whether or not it was entertaining. Shakespeare aims to do more than just entertain his audience, so holding the director to low expectations will make your paper seem shallow and dull. -Do not limit yourself to 5 paragraphs (in fact, try to break this habit). I suggest the following organizational structure for the paper: - Introduction with thesis - Analysis of the scene (multiple paragraphs) - Evaluation of the scene (one or more paragraphs) - Conclusion -Your thesis does not have to cover your analysis and evaluation. Trying to cover all of that in one sentence would probably result in a long, cumbersome sentence. Instead, your thesis might just state the main idea you draw from your analysis; then, later in the paper, you can declare your position on how successful the interpretation is. -Please do not summarize or recap your paper in your conclusion. Finish your paper with a final statement about the scene or about
what the scene’s effectiveness / ineffectiveness shows us about (fill that blank with art, Shakespeare, film, lifewhatever you see fitting). QUESTIONS FOR ANALYSIS: -What choices does the director make? Which of these is most interesting or important? -What are the effects of these choices? Do you think the effects are intentional or not? -Why does the director make these choices? Why does he aim for the intended effects? -How do the choices relate to one another? Do multiple choices help bring a similar effect? How do the choices relate to other parts of Macbeth? -How do the director’s choices impact theme? Do they emphasize or alter the theme? Or do the choices fail to influence the theme at all (if you go this route, you’d better be sure you’ve selected the right choices)? -What was Shakespeare’s main purpose in this scene? Does the director follow this or change it? How? Why? QUESTIONS FOR EVALUATION: -Is this interpretation successful or not? -Does it
adequately express Shakespeare’s theme(s)? -Do the director’s boldest decisions enhance the production or hurt it? How so? Why?