In William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” the audience witness’s one man’s overriding ambitions to his iconic fall. Shakespeare makes a point of showing the deterioration of the Macbeth that entered the stage in Act 1 and the Macbeth that dies in act 7, showing that even the deep morality and honesty of a man like a man can worsen into a man who is willing to kill his own King – a deadly sin in Shakespeare’s 17th century. Throughout my piece I shall make unifying links between the adaptation directed by Mark Brozel and the original text wrote by none other than Shakespeare.
For the period of Act 1, Scene 2, Macbeth is hailed as the very heroic and brave “Worthy gentleman!” who “carved out his passage Till he faced the slave;” this suggests two points already, the fact that Macbeth is a graceful fighter who elegantly “carved” his way through the battle which also suggests that he is as much a perfectionist in the play as he is a cook in the adaptation.
The perfection we see in the play is the perfection of murder, how he kills people so wonderfully and gracefully without any shame. Whereas the adaptation shows a more remorseful Macbeth, it pains him to kill animals inhumanely and uses a less murderous way when he has to, he cooks for perfection also, and before his breakdown at his restaurant he refuses to serve the food late when it was ready at the time, saying “you can’t keep perfection under the light”, only a perfectionist would inherit such a trait. Plus, he mentions that ”the first rule in the kitchen is respect”.
In Act 1 Scene 3, you begin to see Macbeth’s character really emerge. In the play Macbeth is intrigued by the witches, this highlights two point, he wants to know more “Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more” for the reason of asking more questions, because the idea has been proposed that he shall be king and Cawdor. However Joe Macbeth laughs at the idea of being the head chef at his Duncan’s restaurant, he finds it delusional and this is the main difference between the two. The Play’s Macbeth is already showing signs of being delusional from the “aside” side notes but the Macbeth of the adaptation is calmer, more collected. Macbeth battles with himself to then only later write Lady Macbeth a letter telling her all about what has happened. This is because Macbeth in the play is very insecure Macbeth; he is so overrun by the idea that he can be king he begins to speak to himself as “aside” followed by the quote of “Glamis, and thane of Cawdor! The greatest is behind” showing his yearning for power and how his desires, in this case the desire to even have a chance of being king, suddenly take control of his actions and this becomes his tragic flaw.
It prevents him from becoming aware of when to stop and think about the consequences; alternatively the Macbeth in the film is more aware of his actions, when forced to fire his two chefs he does so but his guilt consumes him, he realises the tragic outcome of his actions and how his two employees won’t be able to follow their dreams, so he all willingly gives them a large sum of money, this is something the play scripts Macbeth would never do, because he is unaware of the outcomes of his actions. The second point is how intrigued Macbeth is in the play when he is proposed with the idea of becoming the Thane of Cawdor and the King himself; he doesn’t plan the death of Duncan because, to build on my point earlier, he doesn’t want to kill Duncan, Duncan is aware of how morally wrong it is and the guilt that will live with him.
He is just interested by the idea of being the King and Duncan just happens to be in his way. His motivation is fuelled by desire and ambition, however what you see in Joe Macbeth is different – Joe, when proposed with the idea of being head chef laughs, but soon gains interest later, but the interest is because he would get to kill Duncan and this is shown by the jealous looks given at the beginning of the play, his motivation is fuelled by jealousy. Joe Macbeth even before considering the idea of being head chef starts to plan Duncan’s murder, this is evident in the scene where Duncan takes Joe Macbeth aside and Joe tells Duncan “the chance of you being run over by a bus are zero” this shows that Joe has started considering the idea of it happening even before telling Lady Macbeth about the witches prophecies or taking into account the idea of being the head chef.
In the play Macbeth seems to be in awe of King Duncan, Macbeth feels any work done on the request of or for Duncan is not work at all, but duty, Macbeth admires Duncan as a King and respects him as I quote “The service and the loyalty I owe In doing it pays itself. Your highness’ part Is to receive our duties, and our duties Are to your throne and state children and servant” (Act 1, Scene 4) Macbeth and Duncan have a respected relationship, one where they are grateful of each other and admire one another in the first Act, this makes the murder of Duncan even harder and that’s why he chooses to murder Duncan at night.
His hand can commit the murder without his eye having to witness it. Somehow this will make the guilt and betrayal less. Macbeth changes throughout as his character develops, in comparison to the relationship between Duncan and Macbeth in the film adaptation is to a certain extent, unalike. When asked about a recipe of Duncan’s Macbeth replies with a jealous voice “yes, that’s mine” the relationship between Duncan and Joe Macbeth is strained. Joe knows he is the reason the restaurant is so successful and it pains him to lose credit where credit is due .Joe is envious of Duncan, this is confirmed through the first confrontation between the two and how Joe uses only “Duncan” as a greeting, to represent his cold emotionless feelings towards Duncan.