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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: 17 September 2021

Macbeth and Horror Cinema

Macbeth and Horror Cinema

(p.79) Chapter 5: Macbeth and Horror Cinema

Rebekah Owens

Liverpool University Press

This chapter establishes that Roman Polanski's Macbeth used the conventions of the horror genre to represent William Shakespeare's play on screen. It considers how Macbeth is placed in the wider historical context of the horror genre itself. It also examines how Macbeth fits with the Folk Horror The Wicker Man (1973) or slasher classic Halloween (1978) and shows how the film is situated within the history of the horror genre. The chapter illustrates how Polanski managed to combine an eleventh-century setting and William Shakespeare's poetic idiom to illustrate some very modern concerns in Macbeth. It analyses how Polanski used William Shakespeare's play to form a critique of contemporary society, exploiting and anticipating an emerging trend in horror of the film as social commentary.

Keywords:   Macbeth, Roman Polanski, horror genre, William Shakespeare, The Wicker Man, Halloween, contemporary society, social commentary

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