Reel to Real: Adapting Macbeth Throne of Blood

This Reel to Real: Adapting Macbeth Throne of Blood unit also includes:

It's a tale of life, retold by a genius, full of sound and fury. Akira Kurosawa's Throne of Blood takes center stage in a resource that spotlights how the director adapted the characters and themes in Shakespeare's Macbeth to Japanese cinema. After a careful examination of key scenes in the film, viewers have an opportunity to create their own interpretation, demonstrating their understanding of key concepts.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Have groups research the conventions employed in Japanese cinema (Noh Theatre, etc.), other Shakespeare plays Kurosawa used as source material (Hamlet/The Bad Sleep Well; King Lear/Ran), or other adaptions of Macbeth (Scotland, Pa. etc.)
Classroom Considerations
  • Lesson is most effective if class members have previously studied Shakespeare's Macbeth
  • The resource focuses on Act I, scene 1; Act III, scene 3; Act I, scene 7; Act II, scene 2; Act III, scene 4; and Act V, scene 1 
  • Requires copies of the worksheets and access to Kurosawa's Throne of Blood
  • Films are free to those who register and create a free film club membership


  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information
  • Each slide in the PowerPoint comes with teacher notes
  • The 19-page packet includes images, instructions on how to use the resource, detailed plans, activities, graphic organizers, and worksheets
  • None