Spilling Blood Into Conscience: Cultural-materialist Interpretation of Brozel's Adaptation of “Macbeth”

Alen Avdić


William Shakespeare’s Macbeth has had a considerable number of screen adaptations. The legendary Scottish thane has been since played by many actors as diverse in their portrayal as the adaptations themselves have been diverse in their contextualization of the plot and accentuation of certain aspects of the originals. Mark Brozel’s adaptation follows a contemporary perspective on Macbeth, removed from the medieval Scottish realm to a three star Michelin restaurant. The adaptation thus substitutes the title role of a blood-thirsty warrior into that of a no less ambitious masterchef. In this manner, Brozel’s adaptation tackles the issues Shakespeare addressed centuries ago albeit in the context of the 21st century. These issues examine the interplay of power and fate. Brozel problematises the classical play from our contemporary viewpoint. Issues of bloodshed, motherhood, ambition, waste, and alienation intertwine into a general defamiliorization of reality. The cultural-materialist interpretative approach to this work has proven as the most appropriate key to comparatively reflect on the original and Brozel’s adaptation, as it emphasizes Shakespeare’s modus operandi (thanks to which Macbeth so intensely lives to his present day) that makes it impossible to separate the narrative away from its sociopolitical context.


Cultural Materialism; Macbeth; Shakespeare; Mark Brozel; adaptation; power

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