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‘Supernatural Soliciting’: Pathways from Betrayal to Retribution in Macbeth and Yotsuya Kaidan

  • Carol Fisher Sorgenfrei

Abstract

Although written two centuries apart and in divergent cultures, the kabuki play Tōkaidō Yotsuya Kaidan and Shakespeare's Macbeth exhibit marked similarities (as well as differences) in plot. Here, Carol Fisher Sorgenfrei analyzes some of the ways that these plays reflect (mostly male) anxieties regarding shifting patterns of gender and political power in Jacobean England and Tokugawa Japan. Professor Emerita of Theatre at UCLA, Carol Fisher Sorgenfrei is a specialist in Japanese theatre and intercultural performance, and was recently a Research Fellow at the International Research Institute in Interweaving Performance Cultures at the Free University, Berlin. She is the author of Unspeakable Acts: the Avant-Garde Theatre of Terayama Shūji and Postwar Japan (University of Hawaii, 2005) and co-author of Theatre Histories: an Introduction (Routledge, third edition, 2015). She is also a playwright whose latest play, Ghost Light, is a contemporary fusion of Macbeth and Yotsuya Ghost Stories, in which the ghost of a Japanese-American actress returns to wreak vengeance on the husband who betrayed her. The play will be staged as an Equity Showcase in New York in Autumn 2015.

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‘Supernatural Soliciting’: Pathways from Betrayal to Retribution in Macbeth and Yotsuya Kaidan

  • Carol Fisher Sorgenfrei

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