HONORS ENGLISH IV: VIDEO ANALYSIS ASSIGNMENT GUIDELINES:
A Video Analysis consists of numbered responses to a series of video analysis questions
provided for each required film. These questions require you to note specific non-textual details
from the assigned videos that are the result of decisions made by the director and production
team -- e.g. costuming and make-up, set design, lighting, sound, choreography, casting
decisions, changes to the script, and unscripted activities engaged in by actors -- elements that
are specific to a given production rather than an integral part of the play's plot or premise
(elements which will be found in any production of the play). A successful Video Analysis will
provide as many examples as possible of non-textual elements in the film that are relevant to
the video analysis questions and consider the effect of these decisions -- what interpretation of
the text they convey. Finally, you will be asked to note at least one speech or scene in the play
which you feel may have inspired the director or design team to make these choices (whether or
not you agree with them). Please DO NOT use your responses to the Video Analysis questions to
praise or critique the assigned film. Instead, analyze the production-specific elements in the
video to get a sense of how the director and/or design team understood the play.
Video Analysis Personal Responses that lack SPECIFIC examples of non-textual elements
in the film, that describe elements in the film in overly general terms, or that fail to analyze
the interpretive effect of these extra-textual choices will not fulfill the assignment!
The 1971 theatrical release (140 min.) directed by Roman Polanski with Jon Finch as Macbeth
and Francesca Annis as Lady Macbeth.
General Questions to answer prior to screening ANY
Shakespeare video:
1a) What is the central issue in this play? (What is it really about?) Upon what speeches/textual
passages is my (or is the director's) understanding of this issue and its central importance based?
1b) What non-textual details would I use (or are used in the video) to get this message across?
Consider the contributions of director, actors, set and lighting designers, costumers,
choreographers, musicians, cinematographers, etc. -- NOT elements common to ANY production
of the play (such as plot lines or speeches that are in the script regardless of the director's
interpretation).
Specific video questions for Macbeth:
2) Is Macbeth is to blame for his fate? (Are the Witches' prophecies binding? How influential is
Lady Macbeth?)
3) How would you handle the supernatural elements (the Weird Sisters, Banquo's ghost, the
spirits who make prophecies)? How should these elements be understood?