[[quoteright:340:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/throneofblood_8294.jpg]]

->''If you choose the path of bloodshed, then climb to the pinnacle of evil!''
->''If you choose to build a mountain of corpses, build its summit as high as you dare!''
->''If you will make blood flow, let it be a river Ė no, an ocean of blood!''
-->-- The Forest Spirit, to Washizu

''Throne of Blood'' (''Kumonosu Jō'', "Spider Web Castle"), is Creator/AkiraKurosawa's version of ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}''. It stars Creator/ToshiroMifune as Washizu, a Japanese warlord who meets a strange spirit who gives him some dark ideas about taking the place of his lord. Kurosawa fuses [[Creator/WilliamShakespeare Shakespeare]]'s plot with elements from Noh theater, and sets the story at an unspecified time and place in [[JidaiGeki Sengoku-era Japan]]. The [[NoManOfWomanBorn Macduff]] subplot is left out, leading to a different, but more thematic end for the Macbeth figure.

In 2010, the film was adapted as a play for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

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!! ''Throne of Blood'' includes examples of:

* AmbitionIsEvil: The movie's main theme.
* AnimalMotifs: Washizu's banner bears a [[CreepyCentipedes centipede]] while Miki's has a [[WhiteBunny white rabbit]].
* AnnoyingArrows: Washizu gets shot full of arrows at the end of the film and still manages to walk toward his attackers. He is eventually felled by an arrow through the chest and another through the throat. The Criterion Collection version has an essay defending the plausibility of the scene, given his armor and the placement of the fatal arrow.
* BearerOfBadNews: Messengers keep running into the various castles to deliver bad news, especially for Washizu towards the end.
* BigBad: Asaji Washizu manipulates her husband's crimes throughout the film.
** BiggerBad: The mysterious witch in the forest manipulates ''everyone''.
* CompletelyDifferentTitle: The Japanese title is ''Spider Web Castle'', but it was distributed in English-speaking markets and is still referred to in English by the catchier ''Throne of Blood''.
* DecapitationPresentation: The soldier who returns with Miki's head wrapped up in a sheet is interrupted before he can reveal the head.
* {{Determinator}}: Even after [[spoiler: being shot full of arrows, ''including one in his throat'', Washizu still remains standing until the very end and even tries to go for his sword as he dies.]]
* DrivenToSuicide: Averted, actually. The last scene with Asaji (Lady Macbeth) is the "out, damned spot" scene, and there is no exposition in the play indicating that she has killed herself.
** Miki's wife, however...
* EvilDetectingDog: Miki's horse is all jumpy as Miki and son prepare to journey to Washizu's castle.
* {{Expy}}: Arguably the whole point of the movie is to transplant Shakespeare's version of Macbeth's life into a feudal Japanese setting.
* ExtremeDoormat: Washizu. Dear God, ''Washizu''. The man is so gullible around his wife that she has him wrapped around her little finger.
* FallenHero: Washizu.
* HeirClubForMen: Washizu is perfectly happy to have Miki's son as his heir, until Lady Asaji reveals she is pregnant.
* HenpeckedHusband: Washizu, possibly even more than Theatre/{{Macbeth}}.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: [[spoiler: Washizu brags to his men about the prophecy that claims he canít lose in battle unless the forest itself moves against the castle. While this temporarily boosts morale, as soon as the forest ''does'' begin to move towards the castle, his men see the writing on the wall and turn against him.]]
* HorribleJudgeOfCharacter: Lord Tsuzuki. Washizu is also hopelessly gullible where his wife is concerned.
* HumanPincushion: Washizu at the end of the film, after his archers turn on him.
%%* IHaveComeTooFar
* KabukiSounds: Much of the score is like this.
* LadyMacbeth: Asaji (not surprising, since she's based on the TropeNamer).
* LonelyAtTheTop: Being king sure does seem like a bummer.
* MobileShrubbery: Soldiers camouflaging themselves as trees, straight from the source material.
* OminousFog: In spades. Washizu and Miki get lost in such a fog before finding the evil spirit in the woods.
* [[OminousLatinChanting Ominous Japanese Chanting]]: A song by [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XWogmntJls an ominous-sounding chorus]] bookends the film, telling of how a mighty castle once stood on a now-blasted landscape, before being brought down by the corruption of those who lived in it.
* OutDamnedSpot: Isuzu Yamada does a terrific mad scene where she sits in a trance, trying to wash imaginary blood off her hands.
%%* ProphecyTwist
* RainOfArrows: The first one comes as a surprise while Washizu is haranguing his soldiers. Then a lot more come.
* RedRightHand: Even though it was the style of the time, Lady Asaji's shaved off and repainted eyebrows give her such an inhuman look. Also, keen-eyed viewers will notice that she never blinks throughout the entire film (a direction from Kurosawa).
%%* {{Samurai}}
* SamuraiPonytail: Mifune sports a longer and fairly neat one near the top of his head, as a sign of his high rank.
* SanitySlippage: Washizu starts seeing ghosts, while his wife cracks completely.
* {{Seppuku}}: The traitor mentioned at the beginning of the film commits this while in captivity, spraying a ridiculous amount of blood on the wall.
* SilkHidingSteel: Asaji's calm and soft spoken demeanor contrasts with her drive and ambition.
* SlidingScaleOfFreeWillVsFate: Washizu is caught up in a prophecy that he can't avoid, from the moment he is given the title of Lord of North Castle, as well as in a cycle of KlingonPromotion a, given that Lord Tsuzuki had killed his previous lord to aquire his position. At the same time, he is given choices, whether or not to dispose of his trusted allies, and he picks the wrong decision each time, because he's so weak at the hands of his wife.
* SoftSpokenSadist: Lady Asaji before her VillainousBreakdown.
* SpearCarrier: A group of spearmen appear as a GreekChorus to mark {{Act Break}}s.
* SympatheticMurderer: Washizu, at first. He's clearly in shock after he murders his lord. By the time he's sent men to kill Miki, however, he stops showing remorse and starts showing fear of getting caught.
%%* StopTrick
* TitleDrop: Of the Japanese title, of course, several times.
%%* {{Tragedy}}
* UncannyValleyMakeup: Lady Asaji's makeup, coupled with her never blinking onscreen, has this effect.
* UnholyMatrimony: Taketoki and Asaji Washizu.
%%* VillainProtagonist
* YamatoNadeshiko: Lady Asaji is probably the best example of how this trope can be played villainously. She barely moves during the entire first half of the film, and always takes a polite tone with her husband, yet every word that pours from her mouth is honey laced with venom.
* YouHaveFailedMe and YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: Washizu kills the assassin he sent to collect Miki's head. This is either to get rid of someone who knows too much, or because the assassin failed to kill Miki's son as well (or both).

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