Orson Welles Roger Manvell - Essay

Roger Manvell

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Welles's approach to Macbeth was bound to be unusual. First of all, he imposed upon it a theme which has no parallel in the text, and announced it himself at the beginning of the film…. The words were spoken over shots of the witches seen amid a swirl of mists at work over their cauldron, shaping the clay image of a baby, which was to be a symbol used throughout the film. Macbeth, Welles said, was a story which involves 'plotting against Christian law and order'; the hostile forces were 'agents of chaos, priests of hell and magic' making use of 'ambitious men' to achieve their dark and primal purpose. In order to provide a Christian symbol in the film he created a new character, a priest, to whom he...

(The entire section is 1062 words.)