Macbeth Presenting The Ghost Scene [If You Were A Movie/Play Director, How Would You Present The Banquet Scene In Macbeth? Would You Choose To Make The Ghost Visible Or Invisible?

1397 words - 6 pages

Directing a movie or a play is never easy, especially when the movie or play is based on a Shakespearean work. In Macbeth, for example, there are quite a number of challenges, one of the main ones being the Banquet Scene in which Banquo's ghost appears before Macbeth. To make the ghost visible or to leave it to the imagination? That is the question.Fortunately, there are many different possibilities. Some might suggest casting an actor, others might use a hologram, but I prefer making the ghost invisible to the audience. I find that leaving the role blank creates a more intriguing setting and brings us closer to what Macbeth's guests at the feast were thinking and feeling. It creates fearful suspense and gives way to the imagination, therefore forcing the audience to pay more attention to what Macbeth is saying, thus creating a mental picture to go by.One may notice that there are a quite a few descriptions of the ghost by Macbeth, suggesting that the audience doesn't know what it looks like, and meaning Shakespeare never meant for the ghost of Banquo to be shown."Never shakeThy gory locks at me.""When now I think you can behold such sights,And keep the natural ruby of your cheeks,When mine is blanched with fear.""Thy bones are marrowless, thy blood is cold;Thou hast no speculation in those eyesWhich thou dost glare with!"It is quite obvious that only Macbeth sees the ghost, as one can see here:"What sights, my lord?"Lady Macbeth also refers to the dagger that appeared before Macbeth earlier on in the play, right before Macbeth killed Duncan. Once again it is mentioned that the dagger was a figment of Macbeth's imagination, and therefore not a corporeal object. There is definitely a link between these two apparitions, therefore if one is not shown, neither must the other."This is the very painting of your fear:This is the air-drawn dagger which, you said,Led you to Duncan."Common superstition suggests that seeing an empty seat when one was sitting on it was a presage of that person's immediate death. This further reinforces proof that Macbeth's death at the end of the play was destined to happen and creates for a more suspenseful atmosphere.As it happens, Trevor Nunn, director of the 1979 movie version of Macbeth shares the same opinion as me. He chose as well to not make Banquo's ghost visible to the audience. He decided to portray the ghost simply through the eyes of Macbeth.His movie is very dark, mysterious and fast-paced, so opting to not show Banquo's ghost was a voluntary act to keep up with the darkness of the movie, and the impending suspense and action that results from it. Nunn wishes to keep the audience on the edge of their seats at every moment, so the absence of the ghost is necessary to show the delusion of Macbeth and the fear of the guests, who have no idea what's going on. Thoughts and idea's race through one's mind, as one tries to figure out just what is wrong with Macbeth and why he is seeing Banquo's ghost.It is clear in...

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