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The film adaptation of Act 4 scene1 of Macbeth by the Royal Shakespeare Company and
the PBS production of Macbeth both portray the events in the scene in a unique way while
sticking to the script. The witches in the scene conjure up spirits and apparitions to ‘speak’ to
Macbeth when he comes to them to demand answers. Secondly, in both versions of the scene, the
ghosts talk to Macbeth through the witches; it does not speak to him directly. Each apparition is
voiced through a different witch and gives Macbeth his warnings. Furthermore, the witches also
seem possessed and carry that sense of demonic energy with them in both clips. Overall, the film
adaptations were detailed accounts of the events in scene 1 and depicted the occurrences
accurately.
Even with having the same guidelines, both films differ in many aspects. Firstly, the
witches are portrayed differently. In the first clip, the witches are seen as moody, dark, and drabcloth
wearing ladies. They call on the spirits by mixing potions in a cauldron and sitting in a
circle. However, the opposing witches are made to be shrilling, bipolar, and wild. They are
dressed as nurses in the old times and call on to their apparitions through dead bodies. In addition
to that, the settings differ drastically too. The first takes place in a dark, isolated setting while the
other seems like a morgue. Lastly, the apparitions that speak to Macbeth are through different
mediums. Stick figures are shown to Macbeth by the witches and they speak to him in the first
film whereas on the other hand, the dead bodies themselves are delivering the messages. With
the similarities of the films, also came some differences.
The film by the PBS production made the greatest impact on this scene. Its simplicity and
realistic view of conjuring spirits and atmosphere is what made the characters stand out. The
acting done by the characters as they embraced their roles made it seem as if it was happening in
real life. However, the witches were a little overdone when it came to throwing themselves on
the dead bodies and screaming, even if it was meant to enhance their characters. Overall, both
films are surprising and anticipating, and would keep viewers interested.

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