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During the Eastern Chou Dynasty of the Warring State when feudalism was at its peak. The nation of Chi fell prey to the greed and ambitions of the Lord Chancellor, Wei Lie-Bo. East City Defender, Au-Shu, and his deputy, Meng, were called upon to settle the disputes. On the way home from their triumphant expedition, the “Ghost in the Mountains” foretold the destiny of both men that Au-Shu would be awarded chancellorship and he would later succeed the throne, for Meng’s son was to take the throne after all.

It turned out later that Au-shu was awarded the title. When Lady Au-Shu found out about the omen, she urged her husband to usurp. On the very night of his appointment, Au-Shu committed regicide and laid the blame on the guard, thus fulfilling his desire as king.

For fear of history repeating itself, Au-Shu put up a contract for the lives of Meng and his son. Meng’s son had narrowly escaped his death but his father was not so lucky.

The spirit of Meng caught Au-Shu off guard at the banquet and frightened him into confessing his misdeeds. On the other hand, the assassin who reported the missing of Meng’s son was slain by Lady Au-Shu for his blunder.

To avenge his father’s death, Meng’s son led the army of neighboring state, Yen, and marched towards the city. Burdened with guilt, Lady Au-Shu drove herself insane and kept rubbing her hand of “blood stain”. Finally, she took her own life. After learning his wife’s death, Au-Shu rushed down to the woods trying to reason with the Ghost and the latter again predicted that he might as well hold the throne, lest trees moved. As soon as Au-Shu brought the relieving news back to the castle, his worst nightmare came true; the trees moved. The Yen army was cutting down branches for shields. This was the fatal blow for the Chi army and Au-Shu was shot dead by an arrow.

(excerpted from

Comments (1):

  1. Erin McNamara says:

    I found the use of percussion instruments in the beginning of this adaptation to be interesting. Also the costumes are far different than I would have expected to see in Macbeth. This version has a very oriental flair to it!

Leave a Comment to Erin McNamara


    Kingdom of Desire

    Wu, Hsing-kuo | Productions
    Contemporary Legend Theatre Company
    Taipei, Taiwan
    View productions by this company


    Source: Courtesy of Contemporary Legend Theatre

    Full video

    Note: This is the full video

    Duration: 02:18:11

    mountain forest spirit

    Note: General Au-Shu (Macbeth) and General Meng-Ting (Banquo) meet the mountain forest spirit for the first time.

    The ghost of General Meng-Ting (Banquo)

    Note: While celebrating his coronation with the ministers, Au-Shu sees the ghost of Meng-Ting.

    Address to the troops

    Note: General Au-Shu (Macbeth) attempts to calm his troops and tells them about his encounter with the forest spirit to reassure them of victory.

    Deaths of Lady Macbeth and Macbeth

    Note: As Macbeth is rallying his troops, a messenger arrives to tell him that Lady Macbeth is dead. Shortly afterwards, the trees are seen moving and Macbeth is later shot death with an arrow.