Macbeth William Shakespeare 1978 directed by Trevor Nunn.
Starring Ian McKellan and Judi Dench.
Through his actors, Nunn preys on the audience’s imagination. Instead of spoon-feeding us a steady, predictable diet of horror show gore and carnage, Nunn emphasizes the imagistic poetry of Shakespeare’s language. The language, channeled through such superior interpreters as McKellen and Dench, takes on an expressionistic life of its own. “Full of scorpions is my mind,” Macbeth confesses to his wife. The horror is internal, not external, and Shakespeare’s words have a terrifying immediacy that only the imagination can do justice. I felt a chill down my spine as Macbeth says, “Light thickens, and the crow makes wing to the rooky wood. Good things of day begin to droop and drowse, whilst night’s black agents to their prey do rouse.” The barren set, then, is a mindscape, a blank canvas on which the audience paints its own fears.
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