Though there have been many versions of Shakespeare's Macbeth over the years, but Roman Polanski is the only one to have ever treated the subject as though it was a horror film. The film follows the same plot sequence as the novel does, however the manner in which it does is relatively different. The film is in color and it presents Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as young and attractive. Lady Macbeth doesn't appear to be as menacing and evil in the film in comparison to how she is portrayed in the novel. Polanski places a bigger emphasis on bloodshed than Shakespeare did, for examples, the camera focuses in on the very gruesome and bloody murder of Duncan whereas in Shakespeare's play this act takes place offstage.
The witches are illustrated as ugly, scary, and they are all old Caucasian women. They are also shown in the nude when Macbeth revisits them and is shown the visions of Banquo's son becoming king. Furthermore, Lady Macbeth is also shown as without clothing in the sleepwalking scene, which was quite distracting I thought. I couldn't figure out if it was suppose to symbolize her baring her soul or if it is an echo of the earlier scene of the naked witches. I just didn't feel that there was a need for any of them to be naked at any point during the film. I certainly feel the nude scenes are added due mainly to the film's producer, Hugh Hefner of Playboy.
In the scene where Macbeth revisits the witches and sees the vision of all the descendents of Banquo who will be kings, Macbeth stares into the water to see a king seated at a throne. The camera zooms in on the king's lap where there is a mirror showing the reflection of another king on another throne. In his lap is also a mirror which holds the reflection of another king, and so forth. Macbeth finally breaks the spell by asking if Banquo's son will rule until the crack of doom. This scene is very hallucinogenic, something that definitely couldn't have been illustrated on stage.