Throne Of Blood, By Akira Kurasawa

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Akira Kurasawa’s film, Throne of Blood, is often viewed as an interpretation of William Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth. Both works follow a similar story line and address themes that are relevant to a modern audience. One major theme in both works is the idea that absolute power corrupts mankind. William Shakespeare and Akira Kurasawa both address this theme of power corruption through the use of symbolism and emotion. While Throne of Blood is based off of Macbeth, it is portrayed very differently than the original text. The 1957 film is set in medieval Japan, filmed in the drama style of Noh, which emphasizes human action and emotion. While the setting of the film is drastically different from the play, the plot is actually quite similar. In the film, we see military commanders Miki and Washizu walking back to the emperor’s castle when they get lost in Cobweb Forest. There they encounter a mysterious female ghost, spinning a spindle in the middle of the forest. This ghost predicted success for both commanders, saying that Washizu will be soon be promoted and later become emperor, but his descendants will not continue his legacy. Instead, the ghost says Miki’s descendants will reign as emperors. Both men take the prophecy as nothing more than a joke, and although they are rattled by the ghost’s prophecy, they continue on their way. When they finally reach the castle, the emperor promotes them, as was predicted in the ghost’s prophecy. The two commanders are astonished by this

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