Knock , Knock, Who’s there?

When we were discussing how Shakespeare constructs his plays, it was brought up how Shakespeare includes a comedic scene after a tragic/devastating one. Considering that I decided that the best representation of the porter has to be a scene where its at least a little comical, I went with these versions:

Macbeth (1971) Roman Polanski’s film

Make up & Wardrobe

It looks as if they made his face and nose look red , (it may be naturally red) to go with the “nose painting” line. His beard looks a little dirty as if he has spilled something on it as well. He looked oddly dressed , holding a bucket. I think these went well with the Porters appearance in this representation since it relates to the Porters lines, and drunken description in the play.

Setting & Lighting

The setting looks like the inside of a castle because of the grey walls and wide space. I liked the the lighting because it looks as if its just before sunrise in the morning. I thought it was interesting that they made it as if the Porter took that long to open the door was because there is a long pathway to the gate, rather than the Porter just talking in one place.


There is no music,  which I assumed they didn’t include so you could focus on the knocking and the Porters speech. I didn’t mind that there was no music included , there was nothing really missing just because there was no music.

Emotion, Tone Of Voice,Facial Expression, Body language

In this movie, the Porter is represented as an old man. He seems very cranky that he had to get up to open the gate, and his tone of voice is just him complaining in a high pitched voice and he walks very weirdly. He makes weird facial expressions; for example when he widens his eyes when talking to Macduff at 46:00 which made me laugh. I think these factors made the Porter funny, like the way Shakespeare intended this scene to be.

Lines Omitted & Added

“Knock ,knock , knock (2.3.3)

“Here’s a farmer, that hang’d himself on th’ expectation of plenty. Come in time! Have napkins enough about you; here you’ll sweat for’t. (Knock.) Knock, knock! Who’s there, in the other devil’s name? Faith, here’s an equivocator, that could swear in both the scales against either scale, who committed treason enough for God’s sake, yet could not equivocate to heaven. O, come in, equivocator.  Knock.) Knock, knock, knock! Who’s there? Faith, here’s an English tailor come hither, for stealing out of a French hose: come in, tailor; here you may roast your goose. “ (2.3.5-14)

“I had thought to have let in some of all professions” (2.3.16-17)

”Therefore, much drink may be said to be an equivocator in conclusion, equivocates him in a sleep, and, giving him the lie, leaves him. “ (2.3.31-32)

“but I requited him for his lie; and, I think, being too strong for him, though he took up my legs sometime, yet I made a shift to cast him.” (2.3.34-37)

There are a few words changed, they changed the “him” to you in lines 28-31 (it makes him, and it mars him; it sets him on, and it takes him off; it persuades him, and disheartens him; makes him stand to)

They removed a lot of the lines, mainly about the equivocation. I liked this a little, because now you can focus on the humour in this scene; rather than the deep message of equivocation. I also disliked this because so much of the porter’s speech is gone, which takes away from the play.

Macbeth (1978) Stage

The man who portrays this Porter does a great job at looking more comical, than the other scenes.

Makeup & Wardrobe

There is no makeup in this representation, and the wardrobe is just simple overalls and a cap. I think this type of costume was a great portrayal because it really showcases the weird personality of the Porter.

Setting & Lighting

There is not setting that we can see , besides a door. There is a dim spotlight focusing on the Porter; but overall there is no other lights focusing on the Porter. It kind of looks as if he is glowing as well. I believe that it’s good because now you can focus on only the Porter.


There is no music, just silence and knocking. I prefer no music, because if the scene is humorous, the only music you could really put in would be corny music, which wouldn’t fit in so silence is better.

Emotion, Tone Of Voice,Facial Expression, Body language

This portrayal of the Porter has a lot more body language than the others. He uses props like his rope around his neck and his overalls to act out the lines , like at 0:47 when he was talking about the farmer. He also uses frequent expressions to interpret the lines, such as when he said “in the other devils name” at 1:04 and uses funny and weird facial expressions for example at 1:23.

Lines Omitted & Added

“it provokes, and unprovokes” (2.3.26) they change the word it to drink

“it persuades him, and disheartens him; “ (2.3.30)

“but I requited him for his lie; and, I think, being too strong for him, though he took up my legs sometime, yet I made a shift to cast him.” (2.3.34-37)

These aren’t major changes, so I don’t believe anything was really taken away from this performance.

The last one you shared with our class from your blog post:

I enjoy this version because it really puts in the part of how drunk the Porter was. In all the other performances , they didn’t act as drunk as he did. Its great because half of the porters speech talks about drinking , and he really portrays that with his body movement and random laughing.The constant falling and not having the ability to function properly made it really funny to watch , which is how I assume the Porter scene was meant to be portrayed as.

And I found this version on the internet because I was curious to see if anyone ever portrayed the Porter as a woman:

I thought this was great since I couldn’t find any woman interpretations of the Porter on the internet. She portrays the Porter as if she is a cranky/ drunk woman. The costume was interesting since I believed that the porter would be dressed similar to a homeless person, and she is dressed as if she went to a party. The setting is more a of a modern setting, with people shaking a gate rather than knocking on a door. She protrays the porter as more of a tired person such as at 2:48 , as if she can’t even make it to the door because she’s drank so much. I thought it was interesting that she switched to laughing at everything at 4:21.

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