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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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(p.89) Conclusion

Rebekah Owens

Liverpool University Press

This chapter talks about Polish critic Jan Kott's Shakespeare Our Contemporary of 1964, in which he noted that William Shakespeare's Histories are representing cycles of horror whereby a route to kingship is only through crimes. It points out how the cycle is inevitable to all people since everyone is trapped in a great machine, the engine of history. It also analyses Roman Polanski's Macbeth as a product of a disillusion with the 1960s countercultural idealism and the expression of a youthful anger at the collective lack of will for social change. The chapter looks at the concept of franchise, the twentieth-century phenomenon whereby a new-minted concept of the horror genre is continued in a series of sequels. It explores the ending of Macbeth and the promise it creates of an emotional resonance in the audience rather than just an intellectual one.

Keywords:   Macbeth, Roman Polanski, William Shakespeare, countercultural idealism, social change, horror genre, emotional resonance

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