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The film Scotland PA is a contemporary version ofShakespeare’s narrative Macbeth. Both film and play focus ona male character, and his spouse. The movie depicts the charactersworking in a restaurant where the narrative unfolds as they plot andeventually murder, Mr. Duncan. He is the restaurant manager, and hiskilling is intended at ensuring Mcbeth and his wife take overmanagement of the restaurant. In the play, Macbeth kills Duncan,Scotland’s king to become the King. As the film and play conclude,the characters meet their downfall. This paper is a thoughtfulcomparison of Scotland PA and Macbeth.

Thoughtful Comparison: “Scotland PA – Macbeth”


The main alterations to the script are apparent in the opening ofthe film and play. The movie starts with an outlook of three hippies,whereas the play starts with a short depiction of three witches.Mcbeth meets the hippies at a festival as he heads home from the barreferred to as The Witch’s Brew, where he had been drinkingwith an ally Banko. Two male hippies direct Mcbeth to meet the femalehippie, who narrates his destiny. In Shakespeare’s play, Macbethand his ally Banquo meet the three witches at the moor. The witchesforetell to Macbeth that he is to become Scotland’s king. They alsostate that Banquo’s offspring are to become Scottish kings(Shakespeare &amp Rowe, 2011). Banko’s character in the movie hasno offspring to communicate about, which is possible why the directorleft the character out in the storyline during the meeting of thehippies. The film’s hippies solely appear to Mcbeth. They appear asimagination, which become so real that they put ideas in Mcbeth’shead causing unanticipated things to take place.

There are numerous similarities in the script. This is apparent inthe actions that the characters in the film undertake. Similar to theoriginal Macbeth who is a triumphant soldier in King Duncan’smilitary, the contemporary character has been faithful to hisemployer, Duncan. When Duncan informs Mac and Pat of his advent planof operating a booth outside the restaurant, Mac cuts short the plan.Mac is unaware of his reaction, but it probably arises from theconvincing Pat, his wife, has instilled in him that murdering Duncanis the sole manner of attaining their objectives. This is similar toShakespeare’s Macbeth where the female character convinces Macbethto murder King Duncan (Shakespeare &amp Rowe, 2011). She views thekilling as the fastest manner of attaining the fortune her spouse hadbeen informed about. Pat supposes that Mac requires the push toachieve what she supposes they deserve. Thus, she repeats to Mac allthat is lacking in their lives. This compels Mac in both the film andplay to progress with the killings.

Deputy Ernie McDuff takes over investigation of the killings. Thisis another apparent comparison to the original Macbeth. In the play,Macbeth’s trustworthy ally, Macduff finds the dead body and sets onrevenging the killings. Duncan’s restaurant is left to his sons.However, they sell it to Mcbeth and his wife, and it is renamed toMcbeth’s. Despite triumphing in their business, the characters arehaunted by their offences. The hippies recur in Mac’s imagination,while McDuff progresses to probe the murder. McDuff suspects theMcbeth’s due to their triumphant transition from mere workers tobusiness owners. Towards the conclusion of the initial play, Macbethrealizes that Macduff distrusts his good will, and unaware of whataction to take, he kills his family members. Meanwhile, Patprogresses to be disturbed by demons. Eventually, Macduff triumphsover Macbeth becoming Scotland’s king. The change in events issimilar to that in Scotland PA. McDuff kills McBeth in a fightand takes over ownership of the restaurant, again renamed to McDuff’s(Burnett, 2006).

Themes and Motives

The themes applied in Macbeth are apparent in Scotland PA.Ambition is one of the themes. The ambition to gain what they do nothave is what drives the Mcbeth’s to commit the murders. Shakespearemakes it apparent that the challenge is, as soon as one settles onemploying brutality in attaining authority, it is hard or possiblyeven improbable to stop. Pat is ambitious of what they could attainsupposing Duncan was dead (Burnett, 2006). Another theme is evil. Allthrough the film and play there are hints on the need to kill. Suchis the evil inherent in Mcbeth that he murders their best ally Banko.It is an illustration of the evil trait, which arises due to ambitionto achieve what the characters deem as important in their lives.

Disorder, as well as order appears in the film and play. All throughthe play, there is a specific fight for Macbeth to maintain ordemolish natural and social hurdles (Shakespeare &amp Braunmuller,2008). Initially, as the movie opens everything appears orderly inthe city. McBeth’s is a well-known and successful restaurant tooutsiders, as business works out as anticipated. However, as theMcbeth’s begin to get haunted by ghosts, disorder becomes apparent.The theme of manhood differentiates the original and contemporarywork. The film takes place during a period when manhood is not anappealing topic. However, the theme of manhood is revealed in theplay. Pat questions her spouse’s manhood in an attempt to coercehim to progress with the killings. This demonstrates that Patassociates manhood with the capability to murder, or act aggressive(Howell, 2008).

Comparable motives in the original and contemporary work are throughhallucinations, blood, prophecy and brutality. The prophecies of thehippies in Scotland PA and witches in Macbeth commencethe plot. The hippies and witches foretell the fortunes of the maincharacter, which instills the ambition to achieve what has beenpromised in prospect. Hallucinations unfold all through the play andfilm to remind the main character of the crimes they have committed.For instance, in the play as Macbeth is about to murder Duncan, heviews a floating dagger (Brown, 2005). The dagger is filled withblood demonstrating to Macbeth what type of bloody action he intendsto commit. Another illustration is the blood on Lady Macbeth’s handthat does not seem to wash away. The same is apparent in the movie,where Pat’s wound still appears fresh on her arm despite havinghealed. This acts as the blood motive in Scotland PA.Brutality is evident in both works, as the characters employbrutality in achieving what they want. An illustration is Mcduff’sfight in both the original and contemporary.

Time, Setting and Language

These cinematic aspects create dissimilarity amid the movie and play.The movie happens during the seventies, in a place in ruralPennsylvania. Scotland PA seems as a revised adaptation ofShakespeare’s work. It is depicted as merely a comedy, whichcomprises of a narrative, as well as characters that have beenevaluated before. Macbeth was possibly written in 1606, duringthe initial sovereignty of James I. James I had acted as James VI inScotland prior to succession to the English kingdom in 1603. Jamesacted as a supporter during Shakespeare’s acting organization(Brown, 2005). Amid all the plays written by Shakespeare during theperiod, Macbeth is the most reflective of the author’s closeassociation with the ruler. The play is an obvious depiction ofhomage to James’s lineage as a king of Scottish. In addition, theprophecy from the witches noting that Banquo will establish a lineageof kings clearly accepts that Jame’s family asserts to have fallenfrom the ancient Banquo.

The language in the movie is altered from that in the original play.The film employs a language, which resonates to the setting and time,which is during the seventies. The English language that manifeststhe play has been eliminated from the film. The movie is merely basedon the happenings of the play and applies its own language. Thisimplies that the lines used in the play are different from those thathave been adapted in the movie. The outcome is that the characterscommunicate in an American accent. An illustration to demonstrate thepresence of American accent is the widespread swearing, which isassociated with Americans in many contemporary films. For instance,the quote employed by Pat “fuck, fuckity and fuck”. Although thelanguage differs due to its alteration to modern words, some of theoriginal quotes employed by Shakespeare have also been included inthe film. The famous “fair is foul and foul is fair” is apparentin both the play and movie as the hippies and witches appear to themale character (Burnett, 2006). A different illustration is followingthe passing away of Duncan’s murder. Despite slight alterations,Pat employs the phrases, “what’s done is done” (Burnett, 2006).This demonstrates that although the language, as well as lines doesnot resemble the original, they permeate in the contemporary work.


Both Shakespeare and Morrisette utilize the similar characters. Themain characters Macbeth and his spouse have been recurred in bothworks. The significance of Pat Macbeth in Scotland PA and LadyMacbeth in Macbeth is the same. The character is employed toinstigate the murders that are committed by Macbeth. In the movie,Pat convinces her husband that killing Duncan is the best move inensuring that they own the restaurant. Similarly, Lady Macbethconvinces her spouse to murder the current king in order for him totake over as Scotland’s King (Rooney, 2001). The character Duncanis also significant in both works. The character causes Macbeth toharbor evil thoughts, which increase his ambitions towards enhancinghis social status. The sole difference is that in the movie, Duncanowns a restaurant, while in the play he is a Scottish king.

However, there are also differences in the characters utilized. Inthe play, Shakespeare uses witches to prophecy to Macbeth, whilehippies are employed in the film. The character Banquo used byShakespeare differs from Banko in Scotland PA. Banko isarticulated as dim-spirited initially. However, as the movieconcludes his role becomes more relevant in assisting the lieutenantto conclude that Macbeth is accountable for Duncan’s killing. Thisimplies that Banko informs on his best ally. The play’s originalBanquo is depicted as an intellectual character. He is able to makeinformed choices (Henderson, 2006). Following the encounter with thethree witches, and questioning of his future, he is able tocomprehend that the prophecies may have been harmful. Banquo arguesthat they should not endeavor at fulfilling the prophecies.

Analysis on the Triumph of the Film

Scotland PA is a fascinating film, which provides more closureto the play Macbeth. By viewing the film, it makes it moreprobable to understand the play. The original and contemporary worksare similar in their themes. Through acting the scenes that have beencreated in writing by Shakespeare, the play becomes more real forviewers. The film is comic and a completely black comedy. Thedirector is clever in having portrayed all the characters as they aredepicted in the play. The director manages to communicate thetragedy, brutality and evil inherent in characters in manners thatare more real (Morrissette, 2000). The movie is more interesting toview as compared to the play. This is because the director manages tocreate a comedy rather than the more serious work, which is apparentin Shakespeare’s writing. However, a negative analysis of the filmis apparent in the dilution of the play’s misfortune through thefilm’s joking of the characters. The language in the play is morerelevant compared to any plot. Yet, Scotland PA is set in arestaurant during the seventies (Holden, 2002). The conversations arehumorous in the way they are depicted. Through altering the language,the film merely becomes a representation of the characters from theplay. It lacks the seriousness of the themes that are communicated inScotland PA.


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