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Abstract

Lei Jin argues in her paper, "Silence and Sound in Kurosawa's Throne of Blood," that silence and sound are employed as vehicles to explore the major themes of Kurosawa's Throne of Blood, fate, ambition, and destruction. By examining closely a few dramatic moments of the film, Lei demonstrates that silence and the interaction between silence, natural sound, and Noh music enhance the effect of Kurosawa's visual images, enforce their symbolic messages, and intensify the characters' psychological conflicts. Although Asaji's introspective speech and most of the dialogue between Washizu and Asaji are eliminated, silence bespeaks Asaji's unfathomable evil. In turn, Washizu's silence conveys his inner struggle between ambition, moral consciousness, and the social code of the samurai. The harmonious and disharmonious relationship between the performance, music, and silence of the film is traced back to the Japanese tradition of Noh theater.

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