An analysis of the use of macbeth in the film throne of blood

Quotes and Analysis Understanding these Macbeth quotes will make you the envy of the class.

An analysis of the use of macbeth in the film throne of blood

While this description is certainly not untrue, the film is much more than a direct cinematic translation of a literary text. Kurosawa often turned to foreign literary works for his films, but in all cases, the result was a transposition of the source rather than anything as straightforward as an adaptation.

In Throne of Blood, with his keenly developed sense of Japanese history, he found a kind of mirror universe in the period of turmoil, treachery, and succession battles that Shakespeare wrote about in Macbeth. Emerging ideas of national unity and kingship were then vying with civil disorder caused by battles for power among regional lords.

Struggles over succession often resulted in bloodshed. Kurosawa was keenly impressed with the heritage of violence that he saw in the play and its history. He once remarked that, in depicting an age when the strong preyed on the weak, Macbeth had a focus in common with all of his films.

The parallel Kurosawa intuited and explored was with the century of civil war in medieval Japan.


Following the Onin War, which lasted from to and laid waste to the imperial city of Kyoto, the nation entered this prolonged time of turmoil, the Sengoku Jidai the Age of the Country at Warwhich was marked by internecine conflicts among rival clans, the absence of a central political power, and the kind of treachery, prevarication, and murder that Kurosawa dramatizes in Throne of Blood.

Warlords violently seized domains, murdered trusted associates, and were killed in turn by their vassals. Washizu Toshiro Mifune may enact a story whose outlines are those of Macbeth, but he personifies elements of the historical spirit of his own age. As with his literary sources, his treatment of history is faithful to elements of the factual record while transposing them into poetic terms.

He made the sixteenth century his own period by being one of the few Japanese filmmakers of his time to explore it. In fact, the rate of battlefield death in the samurai wars was not so extensive. Kurosawa gives us battles filtered through his perceptions as a twentieth-century artist well acquainted with the truly large-scale slaughters of his own time.

The sense of apocalypse in the films is not of the sixteenth century but contemporary. All that beautiful dialogue is gone. That surely makes it an odd adaptation, except that Kurosawa has transposed not only history but theater as well.

Emerging in the fourteenth century and patronized by samurai lords, Noh was contemporaneous with the age Kurosawa depicts, and therefore he felt that its aesthetic style would furnish the right kind of formal design for the film.

In Ran, when he again transposed Shakespeare to sixteenth-century Japan, he again incorporated Noh elements. Besides, he loved Noh and found it inexpressibly beautiful in its own right. Noh shows up everywhere in Throne of Blood, making the project a real fusion of cinema and theater and showing just how cinematic theater can be in the hands of a great filmmaker.

Noh elements include the music that assertive flute, for examplethe bare sets, and especially the stylized performances by Mifune and Isuzu Yamada as Asaji.

Noh performing style, with its blend of dance, song, poetry, and mime, is antithetical to the realism and naturalism that invests acting in the West. Performance in Noh aims for a paradoxical conjunction of elements. When an actor moves in a powerful way, he must stamp his foot gently.

Noh performance is a striking blend of stillness and agitation, a mixture of different gestures and tones that can be seen in the acting throughout the film, and that Kurosawa even carried over into the cinematic design of entire sequences, as when he cuts from a long, static scene of ritual immobility and austere playing to a scene of furious action choreographed with flamboyant camera moves.

Noh is not psychologically oriented; its characters are not individualized, they are types—the old man, the woman, the warrior, and so on. And the plays are quite didactic, aiming to impart a lesson.

An analysis of the use of macbeth in the film throne of blood

Kurosawa, therefore, strips all the psychology out of Macbeth and gives us a film whose characters are Noh types and where emotions—the province of character in the drama of the West—are formally embodied in landscape and weather.

The bleached skies, the fog, the barren plains, and characters going adrift against and within these spaces—this is where the emotion of the film resides. It is objectified within and through the world of things.Abstract: Yuwen Hsiung presents in her paper, "Kurosawa's Throne of Blood and East Asia's Macbeth," a comparative study between Kurosawa's film Throne of Blood and a contemporary Taiwanese play, Kingdom of Desire, both of which are adaptations of Shakespeare's Macbeth.

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An analysis of the use of macbeth in the film throne of blood

In retelling the story of "Macbeth" with characters from medieval Japan, Kurosawa does honor to the original and creates a fine achievement in its own right. Kurosawa, or both, "Throne of Blood" is an excellent movie that should not disappoint.

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Macbeth is a brave soldier and a powerful man, but he is not a virtuous  · Macbeth/Throne of Blood Comparison Throne of Blood is a more effective tragedy compared to Macbeth, not only because it follows many of Aristotle's rules of tragedy, but also because of the raw emotion conveyed by the actors' interactions and the versatility presented by  · Speaking of science fiction, Macbeth is the second film I’ve seen at Cannes in which an Australian director has plunged us into a blasted netherworld of feral violence.

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Macbeth: Critical Essays | Major Symbols and Motifs | CliffsNotes