Shakespeare wrote the play presumably intending to verbally direct the actors on how to perform and in which tone they, should express themselves in. Therefore he did not add many stage directions, leaving no limitations to how the play should be performed.
In addition, the adaptation was enhanced by the availability of Miss en Scene, which caused the film to further interest anthropometry audiences. Gold’s wife, Kate Flooded, is portrayed as Lady Macbeth; an ambitious, seductive and tenacious woman who has the ability to control others to her liking. Lady Macbeth is presented by Gold with characteristics that would attract the attention of a contemporary audience, such as dominance over her spouse and a firm wall Of resoluteness.
In the Elizabethan era, women were considered inferior to their male counterparts and such a woman as Lady Macbeth would no doubt leave Elizabethan audiences in shock and awe. Moreover, Shakespeare was aware that the Elizabethans were very God-fearing and superstitious, associating women who did anything that seemed unconventional with witchcraft. In the modern era however, a woman such as Lady Macbeth would be look upon with respect rather than fear and not considered unconventional.
Therefore Gold’s directional choices on Lady Macbeth include her having distinctive features of what he believes a contemporary audience would find eerie and hitchhike. She is depicted as an instrument of evil and a constant figure of fiery wrath, wearing dark costumes and makeup with a pale, gaunt face and a reorient jaw and seen by the audience as a morbid housewife, shrouded in ambition. In Act 1, Scene 5 of the play, when Lady Macbeth receives the letter from Macbeth about the witches and King Duncan, she immediately begins to scheme in her head.
Lady Macbeth is perceived to be malevolent and cunning, yet feels she is not sinister enough due to her femininity. Therefore she calls upon the spirits to ‘unsexes her and ‘take her milk for gall’ wishing that she is full of ‘direst cruelty instead of the tenderness of women. The reader gets the impression that Lady Macbeth is already evil when she is liquoring and devising a plan in her head but wants to be so full of malice so no space is left in her heart for guilt and remorse.
However, in the film adaptation, Lady Macbeth appears to not be truly evil and is just acting in order to accomplish her aims. For instance, Gold’s directional choices for Lady Macbeth when she is summoning the spirits are that she trembles and hesitates, uncertain and possibly afraid of what she might bring upon herself As she calls upon the spirits, Lady Machete’s voice gradually increases from a low whisper to a shout folded, hold! As there are no spirits to be seen, it is as if she is merely raising her voice to fill herself with courage whilst she provokes them.
A Shakespearean audience would believe that she is transforming through devilish magic, due to their strong belief in witchcraft and the devil, whereas as mentioned before, a contemporary audience would think she is just acting evil in order to provoke the spirits. In Act 1, Scene 7, Macbeth is hesitant to murder Duncan, and tells Lady Macbeth that they ‘will go no further in this business’. Lady Macbeth is shocked and uses a range of traceries to manipulate her husband, provoking him by questioning his manhood and using emotional blackmail notifying Macbeth that she would regard his love for her.
She also mentions that she would have grabbed a baby she is breastfeeding and ‘dashed the brains out’ if she had sworn like Macbeth had. This is one of the vilest acts that a woman can do, which is why Lady Macbeth uses this to manipulate Macbeth. In the film, she uses theses strategies to show Macbeth that she is strong and in order to motivate him to proceed with the murder. When Lady Macbeth mentions about the baby in the play, the reader will get the impression that she is purely evil and would kill a baby without a second thought, which is what an Elizabethan audience would expect from someone whom they would associate with the devil.
In the film however, she breaks down and freezes, which Macbeth responds to by hugging her and asking what if they fail. This shows that the Machete’s probably had a child, and dad Machete’s words affected them both, which in turn suggests again that Lady Macbeth still has a heart and is not truly evil. The Elizabethan audience would think of Lady Macbeth as transgressing the gender roles and the religious ideals, as she is assertive and strong will powered in the relationship.
On the other hand a contemporary and liberated audience would find her characteristics typical of a modern day woman, such as her linguistic and argumentative style. In Act 3, Scene 4, Macbeth invites the lords to a banquet, in which Lady Macbeth also attends. Macbeth begins to hallucinate, seeing the ghost of Banquet sitting in his seat at the dining. The lords begin to become anxious and frightened, as Macbeth shouts at the imaginary ghost of Banquet. Lady Macbeth attempts to pacify the guests, telling them that Macbeth is ‘often thus’ and ‘hath been from his youth’.
She then rises from the table and speaks to Macbeth alone, again questioning his manhood. The ghost disappears and enters twice more, causing Macbeth to switch from calm to what would seem deranged. The reader would get the impression that Lady Macbeth is very angry at Macbeth, yet she keeps firm and calm. However, in Gold’s adaptation Lady Macbeth is seen crying and struggling to regain her composure. Gold makes it clear that at this point Lady Macbeth begins to break down to her downfall, her dominance in the relationship diminishing.
When she realizes that it is impossible to mollify the lords, she orders them to leave. She cries whilst doing so and then grasps a chair for aid, then sits down weeping. Macbeth ignores her yet cheerfully and casually eats a bowl of soup whilst saying he will summon the witches to see what lies ahead of him. Lady Macbeth tells her husband he needs to sleep, at which Macbeth agrees and then drags her away. An Elizabethan audience loud not be shocked by this as it was the norm for men to be the dominant gender at the time. In contrast a contemporary audience would be horrified, considering it both mental and physical abuse.
Gold’s adaptation implies that there is a radical shift of power in the relationship. Macbeth becomes less beguiled by Lady Machete’s signs of strength, as he rises in power as a Stalin figure and dictator. The audience can derive that Lady Macbeth still has the traits of a woman, and she finally cannot hold up her act of evil as the shield between her mind and her feminine heart begins to deteriorate. On the other hand, in the play the audience would not perceive her in this way, as they would see her as only afraid to be discovered.
There are no stage directions in the play that hint of neither any abuse of Lady Macbeth nor any crying on her part. The freedom of the play is evident here as Gold creates his own interpretations of Lady Macbeth, modifying her character from a truly evil hitchhike woman to one who holds up a masquerade in order to show strength and power to drive her husband forward. In Act 5 Scene 1 Lady Macbeth, who Shakespeare had apparently dropped from the stage since the unquiet scene (Act 3 Scene 4) has been introduced back to the stage.
A gentlewoman informs the doctor Of Lady Machete’s unusual behavior, and they witness her sleepwalking (an act of witchcraft in the eyes of Elizabethans). In Gold’s adaptation, Lady Macbeth is descending down the elevator, as if she is dropping to her doom then approaches a sink in the middle of the room scrubbing her hands. The gentlewoman says that she had ‘known her continue this for a quarter of an hour’; suggesting Lady Macbeth is very guilty and is attempting to clean the sins off her.
Her line in Act 2 Scene 2 o Macbeth, ‘A little water clears us of this deed’ implies that at the time she feared Macbeth would reveal the murder and brushed his worries away. However in Act 5 Scene 1 of Gold’s adaptation, she is scrubbing her hands with bleach, using much more than a little water. Likewise, Machete’s line in Act 2 Scene 2, ‘Will of Great Neptune oceans wash this blood’ mirrors Lady Machete’s line ‘All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this hand! ‘ What she rebuked Macbeth for, she now does herself. In both the film and the play, Lady Macbeth shows guilt and remorse.
Gold’s directional choices for this scene included Lady Macbeth wearing her cardigan which exposed her thinning body, and looking pale and without makeup. Throughout the rest of scenes she was present in before, Gold had Lady Macbeth be covered in makeup. Now that she is no longer concealed behind a layer of makeup, it is as if the strong will that enabled her to defy her woman’s nature has broken down utterly, betraying to all who hear the deadly secrets of the past I. E. The doctor and the gentlewoman. A Shakespearean audience would find that in the play, Lady Machete’s downfall was a punishment from God.