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March 03, 2008


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Student #1

If I were the director of this play I would have Banquo's ghost a real person.

I would dress him only in white and have him wander around like a main character but only Macbeth would make eye contact with him. Everyone else would just act normal but question Macbeth when he reacts differently. I would have the ghost act in ghostly ways but still be an actual character on stage. This way the audience can see him and believe he is there, then doubt what Macbeth is seeing.

If the ghost wasn’t really on stage some of the audience might be confused. This way if you dress the ghost in all white therefore its noticeable that is the ghost.



Appreciate how you're considering the confusion of the audience.

Clearly how well the actor portraying Macbeth pulls off his lines/moves will either hinder or help the audience's understanding, too, but it definitely makes sense from what you wrote why you'd have a ghost on stage.

Student #2

I am kind of torn between this question. My instincts say that you shouldn’t put his ghost in the play because it would be too distracting to the audience and other actors. Yet, that wouldn’t be such a bad thing. The whole point of Banquo’s ghost is for it to be distracting to the Macbeth. So if you would put the ghost into the play, I would have no problem with it.


LOVE the idea that you're wrestling with the issue of the ghost being a "distraction". Opens up a fantastic conversation possibility!

Student #3

As a director, I would not have an actor playing the ghost.

I want my audience to be confounded by the fact that he is behaving in a very strange way. This would highlight the fact that only Macbeth can see him. But Macbeth would have to use his actions and lines to point out the fact that he is seeing something, rather than just acting in a odd way. This way, the audience would experience that "wait a second...what?" moment to get them thinking. As they begin to figure out what is going on with Macbeth, they can put the pieces together and fill in the blanks. That would be my way of keeping the audience active during the course of the play.


Nice job throwing "confounded" in, BTW -- vocab list bonus!

Really like the idea that you want your audience to remain "active during the course of the play".

Student #4

If I were a director for the play Macbeth, I would probably have the ghost seen by the audience because if I were watching the play I would want to see the ghost.

If I couldn’t see the ghost then I would just think Macbeth was talking to himself and it would make this part of the play seem very strange. Macbeth would still be the only one in the play who could the ghost. The ghost would also have to be dressed in very pale colors, such a like a white robe with the face painted with white or something to make the actor playing the ghost seem more ghostly. Also the whole time the ghost was on stage he would have to be sure not to get in the way of other actors because since the other actors can’t see the ghost then they wouldn’t know where he was. If an actor was not used to play the ghost I think it would be hard for me to understand this part and as a director the goal is for the audience to be able to understand what is taking place in the play/musical.



You've done a fantastic job of thinking through a) how the audience would feel in both ways and b) how the ghost actor would have to function in order to make sure he didn't distract others. Well done.

Student #3 (2nd response)

If I were directing the play, I would no have an actor playing the role of the ghost. I would want the audiance to be confounded and experiance the confusion of the dinner guests as to what is going on with Macbeth. If there were another person on the stage who wasn't saying anything would only make things more confusing. I would want my audiance to analyze Macbeth's lines and actions to determine what he is seeing. It just makes things less complicated without that extra person on set. It would also keep the audiance involved in decifering the events of the play and it would make it seem more real. It plays off the fact that only one person can see it.

Student #5

If i were the director of this play, in this scene i would have a real person acting as Banquo's ghost. In order to pull this off is the stage effects used when Banquo's ghost is seen by Macbeth. If I was the director when Macbeth sees the ghost in his chair i would darken the rest of the stage and put two spotlights on Macbeth and Banquo's ghost to signify that Macbeth is the only one in the room that can see this ghost and when the encounter is finished all lights come on and Banquo's ghost is gone off stage to show that everyone is still interacting like nothing has occured and Macbeth would be acting strange because he was involved with the encounter. I would do this not only to show who experienced what, but also to show the audience why Macbeth was acting weird and to show why the rest of the people at the banquet were confused. I feel that's the only way to get the actual experience from both Macbeth and his guest's point of views.



See the last response you did for @7, #6: PLEASE edit carefully and capitalize "I" every time! Edit, edit, edit!

Man, I love the spotlight action you recommend here, esp. with regards to it showing only on the ghost and Macbeth. Clever choice. Also think that turning off the lights when the ghost leaves is very clever.

Finally: excellent (truly!) point about guaranteeing the audience's understanding as to why Macbeth is acting confused...and yet still making sure that the actors do not see the ghost. Well done.

Student #6

If I was a director I would not play a ghost by real person.
I want the audience be in an imagination scene. They will feel interesting and more scare when they imaginary all the horror things of ghost in their mind and really go to a story with all characters. If I play a ghost in the real person and absolutely another characters need to be like can't see a ghost except Macbeth so its will make my audiences watch a story like a normal comedy and they don’t really know a story by a heart.

Student #7

I would have an actor play Banquo’s Ghost in this scene. But I would make it clear to the other actors to not pay any attention to him and that only Macbeth should acknowledge him. It would make the scene more realistic and give the crowd a sense of what is going on in the scene. Also Banquo’s ghost must not do much on stage to distract the other actors.

Student #8

If I am the director,I would not put the ghost(real person) on the stage.

I think I will put a real person on the stage first, becuse then everyone will understand what going on about the drama. But when I think about the scene, it sait only Macbeth can see the ghost, not any people else. So I want people to have the same feeling as the people in the banque.

So people can imaginary how's the ghost look like. So that's mean Macbeth need to talk to the air. I will make Macbeth's face look so scared and nervous. But the other people will look so confused on him but they need to act like nothing and not to stare at him, since he is the king in the scene.

Student #9

If I was the director, I would have someone play Banquo's ghost.

Although having nobody playing the ghost might add for a cool/creepy effect, people would not understand what was going on, if they have never read Macbeth. You would have to make the audience understand that no one else could see the ghost, but Macbeth. I would want the audience to feel like they are "Macbeth" in a way. They would need to imagine their self going through what Macbeth is going through. I would have the actors act like they don't know what is going on, and pass by the ghost without looking, giving the audience the effect that Banquo is actually ghost.

Student #10

As the director i would have an actor play the ghost but have him talk with no sound. I would have the actor wear all white and have a expressionless face. I would have every one else at the party just keep talking and carrying on with what ever they were doing. I would then have Mcbeth just talk to the gost but the ghost wouldnt make a sound. I would have everyone else just kind of dismiss it till he started really getting into it. Then i would have the ghost get up and walk towards mcbeth as if mumbling a curse but still not saying a word the whole time. Then the lights would go dim and the ghost would disappear. The mcbeth would regain his state of mind but then have several actors in the crowd dressed as ghost as if he saw banquo's ghost every where.

Student #11

In my opinion, the point of having the ghost is so no one else sees it except for Macbeth. I personally would not have the ghost seen on stage. I would have Macbeth point and have expressions as if he just saw a ghost like in the scene. I would want the audience to have to imagine as if they were in Macbeth's place seeing Banquo's ghost.

Student #12

I would not have the ghost displayed onstage. Simply because only Macbeth is experienceing this. Macbeth feels such guilt, and Banquo wants to force it even farther down upon him, so only Macbeth should seem to feel the full weight of it. The audience will get the impression that Macbeth has gone mad, just like the guests at the dinner table, and should feel their ponderment. Besided, banquo has no lines to speak while there, he only sits there, and later dissappears. This poses 2 problems, how do you make a man dissapear out of a chair without make a scene, and he may become a distraction to the audience to whats really going on.

Student #13

If I were the director I would not have Banquo’s ghost on stage.

The reason I choose not to have the ghost is so that the audience feels like they are one of the guests, which are dumbfounded by Macbeth’s reaction to the ghost. So they get to be, in a sense, important to the play. I would have something there that represents the ghost so that people are still aware of the fact that there is indeed a ghost in their presence. I would make it to where the instincts and psyche of humans play a role in who believes him and the others who don’t. I would want the audience to decide for themselves if Macbeth is really going crazy as his wife says, or for the people who do believe, Macbeth is really seeing ghosts. I would make a faint hint that only the perceptive people will understand.

Student #14

If i was the director of the play i would choose to have the ghost be a real person.Even though only banquo can see it the ghost impacts Macbeth as if it were a real person next to him or looking at him. The ghost is a very important part of the play because it shows that macbeth may appear to be strong on the outside but in the inside he is a weak minded indivual and may be starting to have thoughts of regret. I would have the actor who is the ghost still act like a normal person but without words and also i would have Macbeth react as if the ghost were alive and talking because the strength of this act and scene really lead into the rest of the book and if the ghost werent a person the audience wouldnt take it as seriously or acknowledge it as a symbolic scene.

Student #15

As the director of my play I would not like the ghost of Banquo to be played because I think it would take away the idea of how crazy Macbeth has gotten. Having the ghost on stage would also distract the audience from looking at Macbeths reactions to looking at Banquo’s as well. The idea how of Macbeth is betting crazier and crazier will not affect the audience as much. It is like when you see someone react but you can’t see what they are reacting to is what will cause the audience to be pulled into the play. Plus, I think it would be fun to see how the guests react to the king acting very weird.

Student #16

If I were the director, I would have the ghost played by the empty seat. Having no person in the chair makes it seem more realistic that Macbeth is beginning to become paranoid. Since the other characters in this scene do not see the ghost, I think it would make the audience feel more like part of the play if they did not see the ghost either. The audience would also feel the same surprise and confusion that the guests at the banquet feel. This is why I feel there should be no actor playing Banquo's ghost.

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