Content Category

Literary Criticism

Abstract/Description

This paper discusses the uses of vanishing point (the point on the horizon at which objects become unseen) and light in Justin Kurzel’s 2015 adaptation of Macbeth, and how those two filmic strategies contribute to understanding the nature of Truth in the play. Kurzel uses limiting vanishing points and light that blinds rather than illuminates to create visual irony, thus illustrating Macbeth’s and others’ misconceptions about Truth and the dangers of relying on one’s own interpretation of Truth. Furthermore, these techniques reveal the blinding and binding nature of the witches’ prophecy, and create parallels between Macbeth and Macduff, and Fleance and Malcolm that suggest the continuation of similar events beyond the ending of the narrative. By limiting the sight of both the viewer and the characters, Kurzel explores the complicated nature of Truth and the dangers of its interpretation.

Origin of Submission

as part of a class

Faculty Involvement

Dr. Brandie Siegfried

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Light and Blindness: Decoding Truth in Macbeth

This paper discusses the uses of vanishing point (the point on the horizon at which objects become unseen) and light in Justin Kurzel’s 2015 adaptation of Macbeth, and how those two filmic strategies contribute to understanding the nature of Truth in the play. Kurzel uses limiting vanishing points and light that blinds rather than illuminates to create visual irony, thus illustrating Macbeth’s and others’ misconceptions about Truth and the dangers of relying on one’s own interpretation of Truth. Furthermore, these techniques reveal the blinding and binding nature of the witches’ prophecy, and create parallels between Macbeth and Macduff, and Fleance and Malcolm that suggest the continuation of similar events beyond the ending of the narrative. By limiting the sight of both the viewer and the characters, Kurzel explores the complicated nature of Truth and the dangers of its interpretation.