Men of respect V.S Macbeth Essay

This essay has a total of 730 words and 4 pages.

Men of respect V.S Macbeth

Compare and Contrast Essay

In 1991, William Shakespeare's great play "Macbeth" was re-created into a modern day
version titled "Men of Respect." Was the plays textual fidelity lost in transition during
the making of the film, or did the film show total loyalty and devotion to the text and
the feelings of the play? A closer examination of the characters/lines, classification
between good and evil, and the use of light and dark will compare the many differences and
similarities between William Shakespeare's "Macbeth" and William Reilly's "Men of

Set in present day New York (present as in 1991), the various warring kingdoms of the play
become organized crime factions in the film, King Duncan becoming the "padrino" or
godfather of the main "family," Charlie Di'Mico. His chief lieutenant, Mikey Bataglia is,
of course, the corollary to the treacherous Macbeth. The character of Lady Macbeth (Ruthie
Bataglia) remains instinctive yet ruthless in her goal to get Mikey to become the
"padrino." William Reilly at times stuck to Shakespeare's original version word for word.
Other lines were re-worked for the modern audience, such as Lady Macbeth's speech that
states "They have made themselves, and their fitness now does unmake you. I had given
suck, and know how tender ‘tis to love the bebe that milks me: I would, while it was
smiling in my face, Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums, and dash'd the brains
out, had I so sworn as you have done this." (Act.1 scene 7 53-58) Which becomes something
like "I know what it is like to have a life inside me and squashing it out because it is
too difficult right now..." Replacing the original with a reference to abortion allows the
modern audience to relate on a such a sketchy topic, but by doing this Reilly went away
from the original plays meaning.

The classification between good and evil is a big topic in both the play and the film. In
Shakespeare's original version, Macbeth said " I could not say ‘amen,' when they did say
‘god bless!'"(Act. 2 scene. 2 29-30). Shortly there after Macbeth was talking to Lady
Macbeth and he said "but wherefore could not I pronounce ‘amen' I had most need of
blessing, and ‘amen' stuck in my throat." (Act.2 scene. 2 31-32). This symbolizes the
great guilt that Macbeth feels. He has alienated himself from God, even though this was
the time he needed to blessed the most by God. This is the start of Macbeth's great decent
into insanity and evil. In William Reilly's version of this scene ( which takes place in
what seems to be a dark sewer) the lines remain very similar to Shakespeare's, with only a
very few amount of words changed, still allowing the audience to be captured by Macbeth's
true feelings

In Macbeth, Shakespeare uses light and dark to bring out the ideas of good and
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