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Many students have trouble following the events in Macbeth and interpreting Shakespeares complex language. The dark comedy Scotland, PA relates the story in an understandable manner

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Darya Barshak 4/26/2012 AP English / Pd. 4 Scotland, PA Responses: 1. The original Macbeth takes place in the 11th century Scotland, while Scotland, PA takes place in the American 1970s. Thousands of historical events and many generations set these two time periods apart. Yet, while the time span seems immense, noting really changed in human nature. People undoubtedly were and remain social creatures who intensively struggle for their rights, and, in extreme circumstances, power. Of course the setting of Medieval Scotland and modern America contrast each other, but what doesn't change is the characters' drive. Both in the play and in the movie, Macbeth wants recognition and rewards for his work, whether it will be a throne or a boss chair. Macbeth and his lady want to emancipate themselves from subjection and be the ones to take control. Thus the issues of social struggles are visible throughout both versions. Another human quality revealed is the abuse of power. In the original Macbeth, the lovers become absolute, despotic rulers of Scotland. They throw feasts, rejoice in their glory, and, unfortunately, often forget about their subjects. Although the film couple does not obtain this much control, its excessive pride does shine through. Pat used to complain about her boss, but once she herself took the position, she didn't change any of the things she disliked not so long ago. ...read more.


I would appreciate the way this film finds an inventive approach and risks standing out from the rest of the interpretations. 3. Scotland, PA completely revolutionizes the play by turning it from a tragedy into a comedy, and thus missing some of the play's serious issues. The film is also visibly low budgeted and should probably be viewed as an experiment. Nonetheless, through comical approach the film serves a purpose of social criticism. Morrissette satirically comments on fast-food, small towns, and culture of the 1970s. The viewer recognizes the people, the shops, the cars, and many other aspects of the 70s, but this recognition comes through a new light. By watching the events unfold from a side, the viewer sees how the lack of opportunities in the 70s created the most appropriate atmosphere for greed, lust, and dishonestly to proliferate. Since the film is an overall comment on human greed and desire for leadership, it can be viewed as a subliminal message about Richard Nixon, who covered up the Watergate break-in that led to his resignation. However, from a positive side, the viewer gets acquainted with the goodness of the age. For instance, the witty slang of 70's Middle America, the clothing, and the sneaky fellows introduce the culture of the time. Also, the soundtracks play the Bad Company's songs, which were extremely moving and valuable to the youth of the 70s. ...read more.


The result is a lifeless film, which is only saved by its setting and soundtracks. The film will most likely be enjoyed by someone who knows absolutely nothing about Shakespeare, because those who know the original work would view Scotland, PA as a silly parody. Also, although much gets cut out, the added details get unnecessarily overcomplicated and the film gets unexciting. On the other hand, Scotland, PA stays on the task. It has many parallels with Macbeth and enhances some of its themes. Major themes from the original work: revenge, guilt, self-doubt, fate, and prophecy still exist in this manipulated adaptation, even in a new light. These themes are revealed straightforward through peculiar, funny, and incredibly well-conceived approach. The adaptation is also educational, for it shows an interesting piece of American history. For teenagers like me, the setting in the 1970s is very exciting to see because this is the time of our parents' youth. So looking at contrasting young characters - bold, rebellious Malcolm and gentle Donald - it is interesting to think about to which extreme our parents appealed. Also, the portrayal of vegetarian lieutenant McDuff and suspicious Banconi captivate the reader. Actors who played these two characters, in my opinion, showed the best effort and understanding of the actual characters in Macbeth. With both its drawbacks and its wonderful additions, Scotland, PA causes a lot of mirth and leaves the viewers with positive impressions. ...read more.

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