What excerpt of Macbeth is best to use for creating a modern interpretation of the play?
I have to do a Imaginative Reflective Spoken Task.
The task is to create a modern interpretation of the play. It can be an excerpt of the play, a scene or even the whole play but it has to outline the aspects that are changed in order to maintain the original messages in the text.
A script must be developed and presented and also a commentary which analyses one character in depth, both in the original play and how this character is developed in the modern version.
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Macbeth's soliloquy when he learns of his wife's death is one of the most powerful statements that can be taken from the play to apply to a modern setting. The idea of nihilism and the sense of despair that holds the lines could be very easily applied to modernity. The notion of life being a tale "full of sound and fury, yet signifying nothing" is a highly post modern view of consciousness. At the same time, the idea of time being the great equalizer ("tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow creeps in the petty pace from day to day") is another highly modern characteristic which stresses that undercutting all of our pursuits, hopes, and drive for accomplishment is the transitory nature of them and our own senses of being which cannot be evaded. These ideas can help to create a very modernist read of the play.
Almost any part of the play can be modernized without much difficulty because of the relevance of theme of limitless ambition. The corporate world is the perfect place to showcase this sort of blind pursuit of what one man wants; think of the corporate scandals that have come to light in the last 10 years or so. Act I is a good place to start. Instead of victory on the battlefield, a modern Macbeth might be victorious in business, coming up with a new product, campaign, or business deal. Instead of being named Thane of Cawdor as a thanks for his success, the modern Macbeth might be made Vice President in charge of a division of the company while secretly wishing he was the CEO. (An Australian movie version of Macbeth that is modernized has him in charge of a drug cartel). If you don't want to do all of Act I, which is rather lengthy, just do the first four scenes which goes up to Duncan's naming of Malcolm as his successor. In a modernized version, the new age Macbeth might seethe over seeing the CEO name his son as his successor in the company, or name someone other than Macbeth to the next-in-line executive position.
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