Content Category

Literary Criticism

Abstract/Description

Rupert Goold’s 2010 film adaptation of Macbeth features a modern warlike setting in depiction the scene of Shakespeare’s play. Act 4 Scene 1 features the famous “Double, double, toil and trouble” scene in which Goold displays the three witches in nun-like headgear, displayed in a hospital like setting. In this scene, he uses light, sound, and transposition in order to illuminate the idea that the witches have power over Macbeth’s fate, and he also uses it to transmit the idea of how the witches allot Macbeth a temporary control over his own fate which results in his own downfall. This article examines the significance of the witches dresses as nuns in a historical context in order to further show how Goold used Shakespearean ideas to create a modern film adaptation that, despite it’s modern feel, gives viewers the opportunity to regard Shakespeare and his play in a new light, to understand the role the witches play in Macbeth, and to use filming techniques to show how adaptations can highlight different aspects of the play that even avid lovers of Shakespeare can appreciate in new ways.

Origin of Submission

as part of a class

Faculty Involvement

Brandie Siegfried

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Power of Fate Through Light and Sound in Rupert Goold’s Macbeth

Rupert Goold’s 2010 film adaptation of Macbeth features a modern warlike setting in depiction the scene of Shakespeare’s play. Act 4 Scene 1 features the famous “Double, double, toil and trouble” scene in which Goold displays the three witches in nun-like headgear, displayed in a hospital like setting. In this scene, he uses light, sound, and transposition in order to illuminate the idea that the witches have power over Macbeth’s fate, and he also uses it to transmit the idea of how the witches allot Macbeth a temporary control over his own fate which results in his own downfall. This article examines the significance of the witches dresses as nuns in a historical context in order to further show how Goold used Shakespearean ideas to create a modern film adaptation that, despite it’s modern feel, gives viewers the opportunity to regard Shakespeare and his play in a new light, to understand the role the witches play in Macbeth, and to use filming techniques to show how adaptations can highlight different aspects of the play that even avid lovers of Shakespeare can appreciate in new ways.