MY OPINION ON EVERYTHING:
Yes, welles synopsized the events in macbeth.
After I became a fan of welles' macbeth, I've read and watched quite a few analyzations of the play, and nothing sticks out in my memory as completely removed by welles.
OTHELLO is also more or less intact, it is shakespeare's most compactly written play, no unecessary characters, and subplots. what welles scissored out are the character's motivations: iago, and the blonde haired guy who they get drunk, forgot his name, they both were courting desdemona, and both wanted to be assigned to a post that became available. othello got desdemona, and assigned the blonde haired guy the post, and iago got squat, thus his villainy.
and though in the film a lot of events are not right away identifiable, once you watch a program like 'standard deviants's shakespeare's tragedies,' then watch welles' efforts, you realize that all the knocks MACBETH and OTHELLO got for rearanging shakespere's text, were more writers wanting to sound off than damage welles did to the text. almost everything is there. though sometimes glossed over rather than developed for the viewer.
same goes with THE TRIAL. i recently aquired an 8-hr unabridged reading of the book because i have problems reading kafka while driving. have heard the first 3 1.2 hours, and so far it's not vastly different from the film. and a lot of stuff i've read about kafka's novel in welles books has been bullshit. one writer said the world of kafka's novel was closer in setting to welles' OTHELLO, than the setting welles chose for the novel. this is pure bullshit.
i read his book, i heard the audio book which he read himself. i liked it. undoubtedly that boy rode that train, like bogdanovich did. only difference between bogdanovich and evans is that now that they are both off the train, bogdanovich has a talent to trade on, and evans will probably end up selling suits in his family's store.
i read the godfather book. the book is not to literature what the film is to cinema. the book is a minor effort, nothing very special about it, i've read much better mafia books than the godfather. however, the film's place in undiniable. after reading the godfather novel, and seeing copolla's original 4 1.2 hr rough cut of apocalypse now, you realize he has an incredible intuition of what not to film, and what to cut out of a film to make it great.