Design, Illustration, Projects

Macbeth design project


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I took inspiration for my Macbeth design project from dystopian fiction writing and the growing unrest and turmoil in the real world as I wanted to explore the increasing similarities between the two. The conflict around the world has grown over the years, leading to wars, huge refugee crises and environmental disasters. I wanted to create a look for a contemporary film that commented on the irreversible oblivion that the world is heading towards and the story of Macbeth works well when adapted for dystopian fiction. I wanted to create a dystopian world that would resonate with the viewer; the turmoil of the natural world is slightly reflected in Macbeth through the use of pathetic fallacy, I want to exaggerate some elements of Macbeth, weather will be more dramatic, looking into issues of climate change that are currently effecting the world. Creating tribe systems that reflect societies social structure and reflecting our human weaknesses.

Duncan is leader of one of the surviving groups. There are clashes with other surviving groups, humanity hasn’t been able to reconnect with each other. Tensions run high as each group fights for survival. Loyalty, is first and foremost, to the group; Macbeth serves under Duncan, but after one clash with another group he encounters the witches (members of a separate group, outcast women, and non-conforming to other groups’ power structures) their prophecy of new power and success sparks the inner turmoil in Macbeth. His human nature, the part of him that sees the good in Duncan, the best part of him, his admirable qualities, fights against the id; which is selfish, greedy, ambitious. The selfish nature overrides the good, Lady Macbeth exacerbates his desire, forcing him to bow to his ambition. Macbeth kills Duncan, he steps into Duncan’s role as leader. This puts into motion a series of other murders which ultimately leads Lady Macbeth to take her own life from guilt and Macbeth is defeated and killed. Although Macbeth was set in the 11th century the themes of ambition, betrayal, fate, and the nature of the ideal king along with others, are still very relevant to a contemporary audience.

I want to use my version of Macbeth as an examination of a world which reflects our own. I want a contemporary audience to recognise the similarities and critically examine this as a warning of what could happen to us. Macbeth is led to believe he is invincible, that he can distort the natural order of things and manipulate society, we as a modern society are doing the same, through our desire for bigger, better things and progress. People with power believe they are untouchable, not accountable to anyone. Governments ignore the voices of their people, minorities are discriminated against, and wars rage in countries across the world. Natural disasters and the effects of climate change keep getting worse but oil companies are still allowed to drill for fossil fuels. The UK is the only G7 country to cut renewable energy subsidies and boost non-renewable and nuclear energy funding. We live in a selfish world, we aim to get what we want, when we want it, there are clear divides between ‘them’ and ‘us’. Our overreaching ambition to be the greatest species on the planet, to be the most powerful, the most prosperous, the most secure has led us to become isolated, we allow our success to come at the expense of poorer countries. We are heading for disaster, our greed and desire (like Macbeth) will lead to our ultimate downfall.