# CINEMA & LITERATURE /// The Walking Forest of Throne of Blood/MacBeth by Kurosawa/Shakespeare


SIWARD: What wood is this before us?
MENTEITH: The wood of Birnam.
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.
SOLDIERS: It shall be done.

Shakespeare William, The Tragedy of MacBeth, 1611

This very short text which opens the scene IV of the Act V of The Tragedy of MacBeth by William Shakespeare profoundly inspired Akira Kurosawa when he directed his cinematographic adaptation in 1957, Throne of Blood (蜘蛛巣城). This film takes place in a medieval Japan in which the generalized warfare matches well with Shakespeare’s narrative of Great Britain. In Throne of Blood, Kurosawa re-interprets MacBeth’s three witches’ prophecy by announcing via a spirit to Washizu/MacBeth that he shall not be defeated until the trees attack his castle. Washizu’s arrogance is soon to end as he sees – in an incredibly beautiful cinematographic shot – indeed the forest marching towards his castle. Of course, the walking forest is nothing else than his enemies’ soldiers camouflaged under the trees in order to hide their number and their weapons, but for a moment, the spectator – who first looks at it with Washizu’s point of view – effectively sees an autonomous forest moving forward, and nothing seems to be able to resists to this materialization of an awaken entity of Shintoism.