English Assessment Task – Transformation Essay

Shakespeare’s ‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’ is impossible to transform into Peter Moffat’s ‘Shakespeare Retold – Macbeth’. Moffat’s attempt to make a dramatic change to the context of Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ is unsuccessful. By trying to take a famous play written in the 1600s and transform it into a movie with a modern interpretation the integrity of the themes and ideas are lost. The statement is true as the themes and ideas used in Shakespeare’s ‘ Macbeth’ are not realistic in a modern day context and do not remain true to themselves. As well characters within Moffat’s ‘Shakespeare Retold’ have different effects and consequences not remaining accurate to the original play. Also through Moffat’s transformation the emotion and gravity of the issues and ideas are lost. This is why it is impossible to transform Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’.

The main common themes in Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ and Moffat’s ‘Shakespeare Retold - Macbeth’ are blood, power/ambition and the supernatural. In a modern day high – class restaurant set in England themes such as these loose their meaning from their original context of Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’.  

In the plot of   ‘Shakespeare Retold – Macbeth’ after being promoted to a three star restaurant Joe finds out Duncan will pass the ownership of the restaurant to his son Malcolm when he retires. Joe is devastated at Duncan’s decision, as he believes he earned those stars for Duncan. He had done the hard work and it would be wasted on Malcolm, a talent less cook who doesn’t want to be in the kitchen. Joe feels betrayed and feels the restaurant is truly his. In this transformation Joe plays the role of Macbeth and his thirsty ambition that develops is for the complete ownership of the restaurant. The restaurant represents the crown from Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’.

The hunger for power in today’s world is not an uncommon desire, but to acquire it through murder and deceit seems unbelievable....