Macbeth: Five Video Representations of the Weird Sisters

© John Moore August 1999 CertHE Shakespeare Studies.

 

Macbeth: Directed by Orson Welles 1947.[i]

Throne Of Blood: Directed by Kurosawa 1957.[ii]

Macbeth: Directed by Roman Polanski 1971.[iii]

Macbeth: Directed originally by Trevor Nunn and for TV Philip Casson 1978.[iv]

Macbeth: Directed by Jeremy Freeston and Brian Blessed 1996.[v]

 

Witchcraft at the time the play was written

Between 1500 and 1750 250,000 people were killed for alleged practising of witchcraft.[vi] It was something feared at the time, unlike today. It seems important then that the witches were intended not merely as nasty old women (as in the Polanski film) but something far more potent, indeed quite possibly supernatural.

 

The Witches in the Text Handed Down To Us

The witches have few scenes in the play. A1S1 (introducing us to them). A1S3 (telling Macbeth and Banquo the prophecies). A3S5 (with Hecate) is cut in all five versions as are the songs and dances and finally, A4S1 (Macbeth in desperation after the appearance of Banquo’s ghost at the feast.) This notwithstanding they are a major element of the play. Their language is used throughout the play – words like ‘charm’ and Hecate appear many times. The witches permeate the play evoking the supernatural which in turn causes nature to go wild. For instance, Duncan’s horses eating each other.

 

Traditionally (pre Ellen Terry) Lady Macbeth was generally played as evil[vii] almost a forth witch but since Terry actors have endeavoured to play the part with psychological realism.[viii]

 

Freeston’s and Blessed’s Macbeth.

This starts with the Weird Sisters looking down from high on a rock with smoke passing before them whilst the battle (later reported by the bloody captain) in which Macbeth is so valiant (“unseemed him from the nave to the chops”) takes place beneath them. We then see the witches running amok down in “an open place” (the beach). One is perhaps fifty, the eldest sixty/seventy and the third is late teens or early twenties – wide eyed, clear complexion yet somewhat sinister, other-worldly and menacing. The witches do not seem very evil but do have more in them than mortal knowledge.

 

The witches’ second scene takes place on a mistless, bright summer’s day in contrast to the Welles version. The first witch deliberately tries to confuse Macbeth. The witches are faded by technology giving them a supernatural quality.

 

In A4S1 the third witch is mad-ish and the first is menacing. The first apparition is just a mask. Simple but effective. The second apparition is a blood splattered Fleance, the third is a normal Fleance. The witches are weird and suggestive of the supernatural. The first witch is menacing and unshakeable the third witch is teasing – pleased with what they’ve done to him.

 

Welles’ Macbeth

We start with clouds forming, three bent backed witches on a rock. Instead of starting in A1S1, the text comes from A4S1. “Double, double … cauldron bubble”. Something of an artistic license but this change is good, using perhaps the best known witch lines to start the play the plot is set-up very quickly in this the shortest of the four Western versions of the play. They make an effigy of Macbeth – and we then have the opening titles. When they hail him as Thane of Cawdor they put a medallion around the effigy and on the mention of King they place a crown on it; establishing a link between it and Macbeth and suggesting that he is their puppet – totally in their power. They disappear into the mist when a soldier arrives brandishing a standard. Two of Hecate’s lines are given to a witch[ix]. At the end of A1S3 the witches stand up behind the rock and hold Y shaped branches – squealing ‘hail’ This is sinister and sacrificial – suggestive of the forest that will eventually come against him.

 

The witches are menacing, mysterious, supernatural.

 

There is an invented scene after Macbeth says “shall sleep no more” it consists of the “I’ll drain him dry as hay … He Shall live a man forbid” spoken by the First Witch in A1S3.

In the apparition scene the witches are not menacing almost reassuring but this only makes them seem more evil as the audience by now knows he’s doomed and has some compassion for Macbeth still trusting the witches.

 

The play ends with an invented scene after “Hail Malcolm, King of Scotland. We see the witches with their Y shaped branches, and the mist and with words borrowed from much earlier.[x] This gives an envelope to the action, emphasises the inevitability of the power of the witches. This final utterance does not suggest evil or menace, but confidence.

 

 

Polanski’s Macbeth

Opens with a long shot of the “open place” – a beach. Then we see witches making a hole in the sand and putting in a forearm and place a dagger in the palm. This is typical of the film. There is a lot of the macabre and a lot of gore. But little sense of evil or the supernatural. They put various other things in the hole and then cover it and pour blood on the sand. The witches depart and fade into the distance and then into the titles. We hear a battle whilst they are displayed and the film starts proper with Macbeth going through the battlefield after the battle’s end.

 

For A1S3 “A Heath” we have a pile of stones, its raining and towards dusk. Macbeth and Banquo are heading for shelter. Instead of the witches disappearing by some supernatural means they simply descend steps and close the door behind them! Again a chance of the supernatural slips away and we just have obnoxious women. After the feast Macbeth goes alone to the witches on horseback, late at night. A young naked witch (who could have been a bunny girl[xi]) pulls him inside where there are many more naked, but old, mainly obese, repugnant, gross, vile and ugly witches – presumably intended to shock or titillate - instead of supernatural, evil, and sinister that would help the story so much. Interestingly, we see the First Apparition as Macbeth’s reflection and it disappears into the distance spinning and decapitated cleverly suggesting Macbeth as the author of his own destruction and showing the way in which he will die. For the Second Apparition we see a baby born by caesarean section this we will later learn is Macduff. Macbeth goes outside for the Third Apparition in a scene that has a certain drug-induced dream quality. Still far from the supernatural elements present in the source text and so effectively captured in the Nunn but still serving well this Hammer Horror version. After seeing the show of eight Kings Macbeth awakes inside (again suggesting the potion he drank from the goblet induced a drugged state).

 

At the end of the film we see another lone figure go to the Witches, Malcolm. This framing device is effective in generating a sense of inevitable evil.

 

 

Kurosawa’s Throne Of Blood

We start possibly centuries after the story with a column erected on  the site of Cobweb Castle[xii] –we are told what is going to happen presumably to make the audience aware that the Macbeth character has an unremitting, unavoidable doom. The name ‘Cobweb Castle; at least to an English audience giving a sense of fragility – at odds with Castle which seems solid – enduring for centuries – hopefully NOT just a bad translation. But also establishes the labyrinth-like nature of the surrounding forest that the two warriors become lost in. Over this image we have a deep voice, a Chorus, almost chanting.[xiii]

 

The mist disappears into time and the story starts proper with a report of insurrection[xiv].

 

This reporter roughly takes the place of the bloody captain but here he reports that Macbeth (Captain Taketoki Washizu) has no chance rather than delivering a testament of his success and bravery (and that of Banquo – Captain Yoshaki Miki). But shortly his fortunes change[xv] and he survives. After the battle they are caught in a storm and become lost in Cobweb Forest. There is a lot of mad crying accompanying the noise of the elements and Washizu suspects the supernatural.[xvi]

 

The witch has a fairly deep voice, for a female, and is brightly lit. Contrasting with the mist and darkness in the Welles version. We only see one witch [xvii] (and that one has been described as a “rather eerie asexual wood-nymph-type” (www.st-and.ac.uk/~www_sa/socs/basement/throneofblood.html) and the text is completely different to Shakespeare’s. There is broody, bassy music and the witch claims that humans are simply greedy and will pay for their sins.[xviii]

 

In a dialogue broadly analogous to that in A1S3, the witch prophecies the fate of Washizu and Miki.[xix]

 

This witch holding thread in palm of hand that runs through the spindle (reminiscent of the idea that humans live until other worldly spirits cut their thread) is sinister, supernatural, evil, powerful and disturbing.

 

The pile of skeletons warn us and Washizu and Miki of the corpse count to come if the apparently good part of the prophecy comes true. After they escape the forest they have similar dialogue to Macbeth and Banquo.[xx] The first part of the prophecy comes true without Washizu doing anything and he is persuaded into the murder of the sovereign by his wife – who is almost a fourth witch (or more properly second witch).

 

After Miki’s murder Washizu rides into the forest and discovers the witch. Again the dialogue is broadly similar to the source.[xxi]

 

This works well. Washizu is confident though the audience must surely feel that he is doomed by the way the witch is played but it works – the audience understands the desperateness of Washizu.

At the end he seems more destroyed by the sight of the forest moving than by the palpable arrows of his own troops[xxii] .

 

Then more chanting and we are back at the device of the column marking the site of Cobweb Castle. Its not clear of course how the Castle was destroyed – since Macbeth was killed internally – by his own troops – the Castle should have survived but it shows the passing of something immense – Macbeth’s eternal jewel and indicates the damage to the state by the various murders.[xxiii]

 

Nunn’s Macbeth

Major players gathered around in a circle. Camera pans from Witch, to Banquo,  Sergeant/Murderer/Doctor, to Macbeth, to Witch, to Malcolm to Duncan, etc. finally to Lady Macbeth.   A few props only. A bit like his Antony and Cleopatra. Despite the simplicity of this the Witches are shown as supernatural, weird, evil, powerful.

 

The Macbeths themselves seem somewhat ill-matched. [xxiv]

 

Witches then move to the centre of the circle – they have something on the floor – we hear wailing and thunder (but see no lightning) perhaps this is intended to symbolise Macduff untimely ripped (birth by caesarean section) – the fact that will ultimately dislodge Macbeth.[xxv]

 

The first witch is the eldest perhaps about fifty. The other two are younger than thirty-five. The first scene is delivered almost exactly as in the text. A1S3 has the first suggestion of voodoo that becomes so evident later – in that the first witch sticks a pin on “I’ll do, I’ll do, and I’ll do”. The old witch is very much in control, the second witch younger but menacing and the third almost as if in a drugged state – giving a suggestion of weirdness. She appears this way throughout – though variable in extent. At Macbeth’s “Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more” he menaces the witches with a dagger but they disappear again simply (a characteristic of this production) by close camera-work rather than by special effects (as in the Freeston/Blessed version in which they are faded out).

 

A4S1. Forres. A Room in a House. The third witch is still drugged and weird. The scene’s effectiveness is helped by the pair of witches who are not speaking whilst they add things to the cauldron forming a harmony with “Double, double toil and trouble, Fire burn, and cauldron bubble”. This simple (again) device is very effective – adding to the weirdness and witchyness of the witches. Reminiscent slightly of the devil worship books of Dennis Wheatley. Creates almost a mass-like atmosphere. Very suggestive of sacrificial ritual. When Macbeth arrives demanding to know the future, they smear his back with a strange ointment they have made. They also smear a cross onto his forehead – again creating a sense of sacrificial slaughter. Reaffirming that he is a doomed man – though he alone does not yet realise it. They give him a potion to drink. Instead of producing apparitions the witches take it in turns to hold effigies. The First Apparition (an armed head) is held by the second witch who speaks his lines. The Second Apparition (a bloody child) is held by the third witch who sinisterly speaks his lines. The effigy has no eyes and the straw shows through – again reminiscent of voodoo and black magic – again creating a supernatural atmosphere in complete contrast to Polanski’s more shocking (and gross) but less witch-like witches. The Third Apparition is held up by the third witch but is accompanied by the second witch for the apparition’s words.

When Macbeth demands to know if “Banquo’s issue ever Reign in this kingdom?” they move candles towards his eyes repeatedly then blindfold him. We do not see the show of eight kings, we just hear Macbeth’s frenzied description. Again the candles, and the blindfold create a Wheatley style world of black magic and sacrificial slaughter. After the blindfold is removed he continues to hold the effigies and he clings onto at least one of them for the rest of the play. Slightly like a child with a teddy pair but perhaps more sexual. We see the child effigy by Malcolm, Macduff and the English forces as they talk of their assault.[xxvi]

 

Macbeth then becomes increasingly distraught as we reach “harness on our back”.[xxvii]

Here he is desperately hanging onto the effigy – his guarantee . This continues to the final battle scene where he is still holding it! (No wonder he lost! What irony! J) He attacks the effigy (that has empty eyes showing straw inside). After boasting to Macduff that he cannot be killed by man born of woman[xxviii], Macbeth is slain. We do not have any suggestion that the witches are about to do the same to someone else.

 

Conclusion

There is not a definitive version of Macbeth here, nor is one possible. However, the play seems best served if the witches are made supernatural and evil. Therefore despite its good points (such as at times inspired direction) the Polanski version is less satisfying than the rest. The Welles captures well the broodiness of the source, The Freeston/Blessed well shows the Macbeths as real people not as black and white, the  Kurosawa is an inspired translation into 16th Century Japan BUT perhaps the version that best serves the supernatural elements of a play written when even King James had a serious fear of witchcraft and the supernatural is the Nunn.

 

 



[i] Welles version. ‘Macbeth’ Directed by Orson Welles. Republic. Released 1948 (same year as Olivier’s Hamlet) – though filmed in 21 days in 1947 “pure cinema” Time Out. Orson Welles, Jeanette Nolan, Roddy McDowall (Malcolm). The version considered here is the original with Scottish accents. Welles was well known for hating Shakespeare spoken with what he saw as RADA style accents and so avoided this sound as far as possible. ( Another example being Michael MacLiammoir - the Irish actor who played Iago in his film of Othello from 1948-52.) Of the versions here this probably best places the story in the 11th Century (as in Shakespeare’s source) where fights were constant, kingdoms unstable and life comparatively cheap. The film is characterised by its much shuffled text (almost David Bowie-like), long shots – a whole reel at a time in places and its vast sets “bordering on the surreal” (Macbeth video cover) making all very theatrical. Welles said at the time that it “may be the first abstract film, that is the first drama to be shot against an abstract background”

 

 

[ii] Akira Kurosawa version. ‘Throne of Blood’ Directed by Kurosawa. 1957. (Surprisingly it looks more like a seventies film.)  Toshiro Mifune (as Macbeth/Washizu) and Isuzu Yamada (as Lady Macbeth) 105 minutes. Internationally acclaimed translation of Macbeth into 16th Century feudal Japan and noted for its echoes of Noh drama. “The spectator scarcely has time to realise, as the images deafen and the noises decorate his imagination, that he is experiencing effects of cinema seldom matched in their headlong masculine power of imagination” – Time. ‘The finest of all Shakespeare movies” according to Grigori Kozinstev. “The definitive statement on man’s solitude, his ambition, his self-betrayal” according to Ritchie. “There’s a pageantry and ritual to his films, and a stylised violence, that is decidedly theatrical, while the procession of images remains assuredly cinematic”. (208.240.93.27). “Throne of Blood is filled with unforgettable, haunting imagery. Beauty and terror are combined in such a way that audiences can never forget the tragedy that unfolds before their eyes.” (Microsoft). “Kurosawa’s black and white imagery is erie and expressionistic, with storms and mist enshrouding the story … Kurosawa’s unsurpassed gift for powerful visuals make this film one (of) the finest screen adaptations” (MacLean).

 

Lady Macbeth almost like a Russian doll – strange, mysterious inherently evil – more like a fourth witch (or second witch in this particular production’s case). Makeup and limited expressions serve to depersonalise her – making her seem evil – witch-like. She keeps stirring him up – whereas in the source Lady Macbeth kicks him off then he carries on under his own momentum.

 

[iii] Polanski version. ‘Macbeth’ Directed by Roman Polanski. Columbia Pictures. 1971. Jon Finch and Francesca Annis with Martin Shaw as Banquo. Screenplay by Roman Polanski and Kenneth Tynan from the play by William Shakespeare. 134 minutes. Video cover claims it will be “bloodiest, most chilling MACBETH you will ever see”. Bloodiest perhaps. Most chilling – definitely not in that all four of the others reviewed here are more chilling. However, for all its added nudity and Hammer Horror qualities (gore thrown in everywhere) this is nonetheless a good production of Macbeth. (Especially considering that it stars Keith Chegwin! (As Fleance.)) In the sense that it works, it is internally reasonably consistent, on the whole at least reasonably performed and makes intelligent use of the text – adding no lines but reshuffling inventively to tell the story at a brisk pace. “It's well-acted, but it reduces Shakespeare's meanings to the banal ‘life is a jungle’” (Pauline Kael).

 

[iv] Nunn version. ‘Macbeth’ Directed by Trevor Nunn for the RSC and by Philip Casson for television. Ian McKellen and Judi Dench. John Woodvine as Banquo. 1978. 146 minutes. In this version we have a saintly Duncan filmed in heavenly light contrasting with the hard Duncan in the Polanski version. Highly rated version filmed for the small screen after RSC success at The Other Place. “Ian McKellen, Miss Dench and John Woodvine lift themselves to levels of excellence seldom encountered on the small screen” (Daily Mail). “Brilliantly taut … A thoroughly uncompromising production” (Daily Telegraph). “Every performance uses parts to stand for a whole, a truth brought home to the audiences of Trevor Nunn’s 1976 Macbeth at The Other Place in Stratford-upon-Avon, where the barebones production allowed audiences to fill in the particulars of the setting …. Nunn escalates the pace of Macbeth in a 135 minute intermission-free performance … Nunn’s achievement is a unified view of the play, with ensemble acting creating a seamless interpretation. The smooth integration of the natural and the supernatural is part of this unity” (Kilman, p99)

 

 

[v] Freeston version. ‘Macbeth’ Directed by Jeremy Freeston (Witches scenes directed by Brian Blessed – so for the purposes of this essay it should perhaps be referred to as the Blessed/Freeston), Cromwell Productions Limited. 1996 Grampian Television. Jason Connery, Helen Baxendale. Winner 30th US International Film and Video Festival. MB001.

 

 

[vi] Many of the names are listed in a scroll of remembrance on the internet.

 

[vii] A rigorous definition of evil is outside the scope of this essay especially since it is common for evil to now be defined in such a way that not even Hitler qualifies – which goes against what the masses might consider evil. In this essay I fall back on a very simple definition of evil that belongs better with the time in which the play was written – by evil here I mean in league with the devil.

 

[viii] (i.e. as if it was really happening to them – as opposed to earlier styles of playing where it might have seemed at least in the worst declamatory styles that actors were having a sing-song about something happening to someone else).

 

[ix] He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear

   His hopes ‘bove wisdom, grace, and fear;

 

[x] Witch: Peace! The charm’s wound up – from Act 1 Scene 3.

 

[xi] – Hugh Hefner was Executive Producer, after all

 

[xii] so similar in start to Welles’s Othello.

 

[xiii] A proud castle stood in this desolate place

Its destiny wedded  to a mortal’s lust for power

Here lived a warrior strong yet weakened by a woman

Driven to add his tribute to the throne of blood

The devil’s path will always lead to doom

 

At least that is what the subtitles on the video give the translation as. The internet (chomsky arts) suggests the following:

 

Behold within this place now desolate

Stood once a mighty fortress,

Lived a proud warrior

Murdered by ambition,

His spirit walking still.

Vain pride, then as now,

Will lead ambition to the kill...

Still his spirit walks, his fame is known,

For what once was is now yet true,

Murderous ambition will pursue

Beyond the grave to give its due...

 

[xiv] Soldier:              Fujimaki’s insurrection took us by surprise.

Forts four and five have been set ablaze.

 

[xv] Soldier:               The Enemy is routed!

We are on the offensive.

Fujimaki besieged in North Mansion

Offers to shave his head!

This offer is rejected (perhaps less surprising to a Western audience) – his death is commanded instead!

 

[xvi] Washizu:           an evil spirit must be blocking our way.

Miki:                       I will break through with my spear

Washizu                :               And I with my arrows

 

MORE MAD  LAUGHING/WAILING + THUNDER + RAIN. The supernatural is further suggested when they encounter the hut – since they know all paths through the forest (that they have been lost in for two hours).

Washizu:               Its an evil spirit I’m sure

My horse has never been so frightened

(i.e. similar to the effects on nature in Macbeth)

 

 

[xvii] Presumably because a single entity gives more of a sense of hidden knowledge than a group does in Japanese culture – an isolated wise figure – in line with Buddhist thoughts on achieving enlightenment through solitary application.

 

[xviii] Witch:              Men are vain mortals; life is but a thread

A leash, at which men strain and yelp

A stalk on which ambition blooms and withers

Mortal words and deeds are merely lust and greed

But all men one day face the reckoning

Victor and vanquished, saint and sinner all pay their dues

And fade to nothingness.

{ Again there is a discrepancy between the subtitles and the internet. The latter offers the following:

Men are vain and death is long

And pride dies first within the grave

For hair and nails are growing still

When face and fame are gone.

Nothing in this world will save

Or measure up man's actions here,

Nor in the next, for there is none:

This life must end in fear.

Only evil may maintain

An after life those who will

Who love this world, who have no son

To whom ambition calls.

Even so this false fame falls.

Death will reign, man dies in vain. (quoted in Jorgens, p. 159)

}

 

[xix] Washizu:           Are you a human being or an evil spirit

If you can sing, you can talk

Witch:                    Honourable Captain Washizu

You are in command of Fort One

Washizu:               Do you know me?

Witch:                    Today you will become the master of North Mansion

Washizu:               Master of North Mansion?

Witch:                    In time you will become lord of Cobweb Castle

Washizu:               Enough! What nonsense is this? (Annoyed and looks at Miki – possibly suggestive that he has contemplated this but does not want Miki to know.)

Witch:                    I thought you would be delighted

Do you not want to take command of the castle?

Washizu:               Lord Tsuzuki  is master of  Cobweb Castle

Witch:                    You mortals! Your behaviour is very mystifying

You want something, but act as if you do not want it

 

Washizu takes out bow and arrow and points at the witch.

 

Miki Commands Washizu not to kill the witch

Miki:                       Whoever she is she would not risk your arrows for nothing

Let me talk to her

Can you see the future as I see you?

 

Witch:                    Honourable Captain Miki

                                You are in command of Fort Two

                                Today you will take command of Fort One.

 

Miki:                       Command of Fort One? (laughs)

And what then?

Witch:                    Your luck turns slower but it lasts longer than that of Captain Washizu.

Miki:                       Slower? How do you mean

Witch:                    Your son will eventually be master of Cobweb Castle.

THEN WITCH RISES UP – OUTER GARMENT DISAPPEARS AND THEN THE WITCH TOO DISAPPEARS ALONG WITH THE HUT. SKELETONS SEEN PILED UP AND THEN FADE AGAIN INTO MIST. THEY RIDE ABOUT AGAIN – VERY MISTY – HORSES NEIGHING – RIDING AROUND IN CIRCLES BUT EVENTUALLY FIND THEIR WAY OUT.

 

 

[xx] Washizu:            I feel as though I am asleep and dreaming

That woman’s words may well be part of a dream

Miki:                       We dream of what we want

Every samurai longs to be the master of a castle

Washizu:               She says your son would be master of that castle ( pointing )

Miki:                       Yes, After but after you have ruled it

[They both laugh.]

 

But shortly.

Washizu:               Suppose I do get North Mansion today and you get Fort One …

Then we see them both striding to receive their commendations. Which indeed are as the witch had foretold.

 

[xxi] Witch:                Honourable master of Cobweb Castle.

Washizu:               Is it true that Miki’s son will gain the Castle?

Witch:                    Have you come to ask that so soon?

                                It seems that you have already reached your goal.

I congratulate you.

I congratulate you.

W:                           Answer! Tell me my future, if you can.

Witch:                    [ LAUGHS MADLY] You may rest assured, my lord

                                You will not lose a single battle unless Cobweb Forest begins to move

                                and comes to Cobweb Castle.

W:                           Begins to move? [ LAUGHS ]

                                How can a forest move?

                                I can never lose a single battle.

Witch:                    SHRIEKING LAUGHTER AND CHANGES APPEARANCE. HAIR NOW COVERED WITH TALL CONE SHAPED HAT.

If  you tread in the path of demons

                                tread it in the most cruel, most hideous manner.

Washizu:               I will kill Noriyasu, Kunimaru. Miki’s son.

 

Witch:                    [ LAUGHS ] [ CHANGED AGAIN – NOW LIKE A SAMURAI WARRIOR  brandishing long sword ] If you build a mountain of corpses build it to the sky.

Washizu:               I will build it upon these skeletons.

Witch:                    If you shed blood, let it run like a river

Washizu:               I will paint the whole forest with blood. [ LAUGHS, CONFIDENT AND WILD  ]

                                You can come, Noriyasu

                                Help Inui, let others help you!

                                Let all turn against me!

                                Let thousands attack me!

 

 

[xxii] Reminiscent of Mark Anthony describing the murder of Caesar by Brutus (et al) in Julius Caesar.

 

[xxiii] Reminiscent, perhaps, (if its possible to be reminiscent of a film forty years later) of the destruction of the statue to King Hamlet (i.e. the elder) by Fortinbras when he decides to add Denmark to his itinerary on returning from war and finding himself in a somewhat reduced court.

 

[xxiv] McKellen’s Macbeth is virile and attractive. Dench’s matronly Lady Macbeth is far more like his mother than his lover. But perhaps this tells us something about his Macbeth. In contrast to the other three Western Macbeths discussed here where Macbeth has married a babe, this Macbeth has married for money perhaps helping us believe that it is in his nature to do the murder – a mercenary streak that will come out if he does not catch the nearest way. Dench looking halfway to the witches in Polanski’s version.

 

[xxv] “Communal rites, both religious (by Duncan) and profane (by the three sisters) are prologues to the first scene. … Organ music creates a church-like ambience.” (Kilman, p103)

 

[xxvi] Malcolm           Let every soldier hew him down a bough

                                And bear't before him; thereby shall we shadow

                                The numbers of our host, and make discovery

                                Err in report of us.

 

[xxvii] MACBETH:    There is nor flying hence, nor tarrying here.

                                I 'gin to be aweary of the sun,

                                And wish th' estate o'th' world were now undone.

                                Ring the alarum bell! Blow, wind; come, wrack;

                                At least we'll die with harness on our back.

 

[xxviii] Macduff                            Despair thy charm,

                                And let the angel whom thou still hast served

                                Tell thee Macduff was from his mother's womb

                                Untimely ripped.

 

Macbeth                Accursed be that tongue that tells me so,

                                For it hath cowed my better part of man;

                                And be these juggling fiends no more believed,

                                That palter with us in a double sense,

                                That keep the word of promise to our ear,

                                And break it to our hope. I'll not fight with thee.

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

 

208.240.93.27 ‘William Shakespeare A Common Reader Throne of Blood A film by Akira Kurosawa’ (WWW, 1999)

 

Chomsky Arts: http://chomsky.arts.adelaide.edu.au/person/Dhart/Films/ThroneOfBlood.html. (WWW, 1999)

 

Anonymous.  Macbeth Review. Daily Mail. Quoted on the cover of the video of Trevor Nunn’s Macbeth.

 

Anonymous. Macbeth Review. Daily Telegraph. Quoted on the cover of the video of Trevor Nunn’s Macbeth.

 

Gutenberg Project. Macbeth.  (WWW, 1998). Plain text version of the play.

 

Kael, Pauline. (review of Polanski’s)  Macbeth. (Microsoft Corporation Cinemania 1997 CD-ROM, 1996).

 

Kilman, Bernice W: Shakespeare in Performances, (Manchester Univeristy Press, 1992, ISBN 0 7190 2731 4. Hardback.)

 

Kozinstev, Grigori. Throne of Blood. quoted on http://chomsky.arts.adelaide.edu.au/person/Dhart?Films/ThroneOfBlood.html on Throne Of Blood. (WWW, 1999)

 

MacLean, Paul Andrew Renaissance Magazine, (WWW, http://www.renaissancemagazine.com/movies/throne.html., 1998)

 

Microsoft. CineBooks article on Throne Of Blood in Cinemania 97 – (CD-ROM., 1996)

 

MIT Shakespeare Server. Macbeth. (WWW, 1999).  (One scene per HTML page with some words explained.)

 

Ritchie. Quoted on http://chomsky.arts.adelaide.edu.au/person/Dhart?Films/ThroneOfBlood.html on Throne Of Blood. (WWW, 1999)

 

Anonymous. Time quoted by st1.yahoo.com/ihf/216.html. (WWW, 1999)

 

Anonymous. Welles’s Macbeth. Time Out, quoted on the outside video cover of Welles’ Macbeth.

 

Welles, Orson (Macbeth video packaging, 1996 – date of quote itself not identified.)

 

www.st-and-ac.uk/~www_sa/socs/basement/throneofblood.html One page review of ‘Throne of Blood’.