Updated September 10, 2022

Theme of Power and Ambition in Macbeth Film Adaptation

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Theme of Power and Ambition in Macbeth Film Adaptation essay
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Often power is described as the ability to direct or influence the behaviour of others. This is evident across Shakespeare Retold directed by Brian Percival broadcasted on the 7th of November 2005. Power can be won and loss from addiction, sacrifices and guilt. Power is also won from the ambition to do what you feel is right. “Percival” uses camera angles and lighting to enhance the audience’s view on the film. This can also tear families and friends apart. Power has the ability to destroy one’s life many character from the film are drawn to power due to their hunger for superiority.

Fear is utilised across the film to show the audience how

Ambition is shown across the production of Shakespeare Retold- Macbeth on many occasions. During the opening scene Macbeth shows his ambition when he’s in the kitchen with knives around his head in the shape of a crown. He then begins to immerse himself into all kinds of different evil deeds which consist of the murder of Duncan and Banquo. After hearing the witches prophecy he begins his ambition to commit terrible crimes, nothing will stand in his way of sitting on the throne of cawdor. “Nothing will happen to him until pigs land on his head” At the end of the film a long shot is used to show a helicopter lands on top of a building which represents the pigs. Lighting was also used in this scene to portray a dark feeling, as the story begins, the lighting used is brighter and more cheerful but it gets darker as we see Macbeth progress as a character. Macbeth was a This means that something is going to happen to Macbeth.

Fear is infectious throughout the film. Macbeth begins as a hard working chef until he hears the witches; prophecy. In the beginning of the play, Macbeth is butchering a pig and the blood of the pig can be portrayed as foreshadowing for Macbeth’s murder of Duncan later in the film. This is similar to the play where Macbeth is covered in blood from the battle of the Norwegians. This ignite Macbeth’s fear, he uses his fear to try and gain true power this shows at the end of the film when he realizes that the witches prophecy is true. In an opening scene, Macbeth is seen drinking a large bottle of milk. Milk is a prominent symbol in the play and this scene foreshadows the scene where Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth that is too full “O’ th’ milk of human kindness”

Delusion, this is something that is falsely or delusively believed. The reason for Macbeth’s delusions and madness is that there is no respect in Duncan’s death. The film gives the audience a motive for Macbeth to kill Duncan. Even with the motive of gaining everything, Macbeth knows there is no respect in killing Duncan. The collision of his desire to be “the guy who puts everything he has into cooking the best food he can” (Percival) and his desire to have the prestige Duncan has deteriorated his mental state.


The adopting of different camera angles and shots to produce the movie, helps include the audience into the situation and puts upon them a share of being responsible for the behaviour of humans as a result of the ambition and greed that we behold.

Theme of Power and Ambition in Macbeth Film Adaptation essay

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How does the theme of ambition manifest itself in the character Macbeth?
Macbeth has been thinking about whether or not he should murder Duncan. He reaches the conclusion that the only thing that is motivating him (his 'spur') is ambition which he compares to a horse leaping over an obstacle ('vaulting ambition').
How is ambition and power shown in Macbeth?
Once Macbeth kills Duncan, his ambition to hold on to his title as king becomes intertwined with his paranoia . Rather than being able to enjoy the fruits of his ambition, he becomes obsessed with maintaining the power he's won.
How is the theme of power presented in Macbeth?
Power can transmute the way a character devolves and grows throughout a piece of literature. In the play Macbeth, Macbeth becomes power hungry and changed him into a demanding dictator . His need for power affects his relationship with other characters in the play.
What is the theme of ambition in Macbeth?
Ambition. Although he is encouraged by the Witches, Macbeth's true downfall is his own ambition. Lady Macbeth is as ambitious as her husband, encouraging him to commit murder to achieve their goals. Both Macbeths fail to see how their ambition makes them cross moral lines and will lead to their downfall.
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