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Rebekah Owens

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781911325130

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781911325130.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 25 July 2021

Polanski’s Macbeth As Social Commentary – ‘None can call our power to account’

Polanski’s Macbeth As Social Commentary – ‘None can call our power to account’

(p.67) Chapter 4: Polanski’s Macbeth As Social Commentary – ‘None can call our power to account’

Rebekah Owens

Liverpool University Press

This chapter mentions Roman Polanski's film Rosemary's Baby, in which he managed to take the conventions of the Gothic world of demons and place them in a modern world of coffee machines and Christmas shopping. It analyses how Polanski overlaid William Shakespeare's Macbeth with the old Gothic bright red blood-and-guts instead of just presenting it in a modern world. It also discusses how Polanski chose the landscape of a feudal nation and the inner world of Macbeth to create a film that was a commentary on modernity. The chapter highlights how Polanski used Macbeth to show that a violent tendency is not done by one man alone, but it is symptomatic of the society being inhabited. It outlines the aspect of some horror films that functioned as a commentary on contemporary social anxieties of the late 1960s and 1970s.

Keywords:   Roman Polanski, Rosemary's Baby, Gothic world, William Shakespeare, Macbeth, violence, modernity

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