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Macbeth as a Man of Respect

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Essay title: Macbeth as a Man of Respect

When looking at how the movie, “Men of Respect” interacts with the original play of Macbeth it is easy to see how well this interaction fits the definition of intertextuality. The relationship between these two mediums is one that allows for a much better understanding of both when they are compared.

The original play of Macbeth allows for so much more accessibility in understanding the second text. The two texts share a lot of similar aspects, but many of them are better understood in the context of the play. The presence and purpose of the witches is on of these aspects. In the play, the idea of witchcraft and the wholehearted belief in it is far more prevalent than in the modern world of the movie. If a viewer of the movie had not had the experience of the play, they may have trouble accepting why Mike is so willing to take the word of an old woman as absolute. The movie does offer interpretations of the play that can allow a specific audience to better understand the story. This is primarily because of the more current context being more easily relatable than the historical world of the play.

Being that “Men of Respect” is an adaptation of Macbeth, allows for these intertextual understandings to better take place. The movie stays true to many occurrences in the play. While small changes are made for the benefit of the video medium, the overall action of the movie follows right along with that of the play. The words used in each are the greatest difference because of the separate time frames. There are many phrases that are brought from one to the other for intertextual relation purposes. When the witches in the original play refer to Macbeth’s presence as “Something wicked this way comes” (IV.1.35), it is altered in the movie to Mike’s statement that “It’s wicked out there.” While the two seem to have different meanings, the word wicked ties them together. Anyone who compares these two texts together will immediately recognize the significance of that word and understand that Mike is commenting on more than just the weather. The Lady Macbeth of the film, Ruth, uses the word “out” in here final speech. This single use of the word is an adaptation of the Lady Macbeth’s speech from the play. There are several separate references to washing one’s hands of a situation throughout the movie. Both Duffy and Ruth make this statement at times that are not taken directly from the play. Along with the symbolism of the cutting of hands as a blood oath, the movie uses these to bring the emphasis of stained hands out in a different way than the play did. There are many other examples of this altering of words between the two texts, including many speeches, but all keep the primary words of significance in them so that the audience has the ability to interpret the adaptation of the original. The use of sounds in both the play and movie demonstrate the adaptations made. In the second scene of the play Macbeth hears a constant knocking. This remains exact in the movie. It is shown by Duffy actually knocking on the door. In the play there is much

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