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Kumonosu Jō (Spiderweb Castle), distributed with the English title Throne of Blood, is Akira Kurosawa's version of Macbeth. Kurosawa fuses Shakespeare's plot with elements from Noh theater, and sets the story at an unspecified time and place in Sengoku-era Japan. The Macduff subplot is left out, leading to a different, but more thematic end for the Macbeth figure, General Washizu Taketoki (Toshiro Mifune)
Has been adapted as a play for the Ashland Shakespeare Festival.
Throne of Blood includes examples of:
- Bearer of Bad News
- Driven to Suicide
- Enforced Method Acting: The arrows striking the wall beside Washizu in the final scene were fired by real archers placed just off-camera. Toshiro Mifune's look of terror is not entirely feigned.
- Fallen Hero: Washizu.
- Heir Club for Men: Washizu is perfectly happy to have Miki's son as his heir, until Lady Asaji reveals she is pregnant.
- Henpecked Husband: Washizu, possibly even more than Macbeth.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Washizu's boss, Lord Tsuzuki.
- I Have Come Too Far
- Kabuki Sounds much of the score is like this.
- Lady Macbeth: Washizu's wife Asaji (not surprising, since she's based on the Trope Namer).
- Lonely At the Top
- Mobile Shrubbery
- Ominous Fog in spades.
- Out, Damned Spot!: As Asaji, Isuzu Yamada does a terrific mad scene. Also, she never blinks throughout the entire film (a direction from Kurosawa), which only adds to the crazy.
- Prophecy Twist
- Rain of Arrows
- Sanity Slippage
- Spear Carrier: A group of spearmen appear as a Greek Chorus to mark ActBreaks.
- Stop Trick
- Villain Protagonist
- Yamato Nadeshiko: Lady Asaji is probably the best example of how this trope can be played villainously. She barely moves during the entire first half of the film, and always takes a polite tone with her husband Washizu, yet every word that pours from her mouth is honey laced with venom.
- You Have Failed Me and You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Washizu kills the assassin he sent to collect Miki's head. This is either to get rid of someone who knows too much, or because the assassin failed to kill Miki's son as well (or both).