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Macbeth illustrationIllustration, 1858 edition

Macbeth

Publication details ▽ Publication details △

Original title
The Tragedie of Macbeth

Written
1603

First performed
1606

First published
1623, in Folio

Literary form
Play

Genres
Tragedy, historical drama

Writing language
English

Author's country
England

Length
Five acts, 2,392 lines, approx. 16,500 wordss

Joe Macbeth scene
Jon Finch and Francesca Annis are Roman Polanski's deadly couple in The Tragedy of Macbeth.

Macbeth

THE PLAY | THE TEXT | THE MOVIES

1948, 1955, 19571971

Sexy and bloody Macbeths

Throne of Blood (1957): originally Kumonosu j; also called Macbeth; director Akira Kurosawa; writers Shinobu Hashimoto, Ryuz Kikushima, Kurosawa, Hideo Oguni; Toshiro Mifune, Isuzu Yamada, Takashi Shimura

The Tragedy of Macbeth (1971): Also called Macbeth; director Roman Polanski; writers Polanski, Kenneth Tynan; featuring Jon Finch, Francesca Annis, Martin Shaw

In a more conventional vein, Roman Polanski remade the play as The Tragedy of Macbeth in 1971 to even greater length than Welles' version.

However, he updated the dialogue and revised the action somewhat, to make it less brooding and more violent. His biggest innovation was casting attractive young actors in the lead roles, and emphasizing eroticism in the play.

Using a cast of relative unknowns, he produced a film that's been hailed by some as a masterpiece and dismissed by others as sensationalistically bloody.


Trailer for Roman Polanski's The Tragedy of Macbeth in 1971.

You may also be interested in seeing Akira Kurosawa's Kumonosu j (Throne of Blood, 1957), also called Macbeth in North America, in which Shakespeare's story is transposed to feudal Japan. This too has been called a masterwork.


Trailer for Kurosawa's Throne of Blood in Japanese with English subtitles.

— Eric McMillan

THE PLAY | THE TEXT | THE MOVIES

1948, 1955, 19571971

See also:

Play
Edward II

Play
The Country Wife

On Amazon:

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Macbeth

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