Macbeth vs Scotland, PA Essay

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Macbeth:

The thin line between tragedy and dark humor.

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth has always been considered one of the literary worlds most celebrated tragedies. It is arguably the darkest and most gruesome of his plays. The protagonist, Macbeth, is the poster child for tragic hero, “a literary character who makes an error of judgment or has a fatal flaw that, combined with fate and external forces, brings on a tragedy” (www.dictionary.com). And until recently we were satisfied with that… At the Cannes Film Festival in 2001, a low budget comedy was unveiled. It was called Scotland, PA. This film was written by a first-time director, Billy Morrissette, and depicts the familiar story in a surprisingly different form.
The premise of
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This element is key in developing the audience’s view of Macbeth and his reprehensible crimes. This scenes absence teamed with the accidental manner in which Mac commits the plotted murder of Duncan aid in securing a less contemptible opinion of Mac.
Another reason we find Mac and Pat to be less evil is because of their real-world disposition that most college kids can relate to – they are “…not bad people – we’re just underachievers that have to make up for lost time.” This puts a comedic spin on their situation and consequently, the crimes they commit. Not to mention they are struggling for the seat of power over (DUN DUN DUN..) a local fast food restaurant that, for the most part, they deserve. Their manager is incompetent and incapable of accepting responsibility. This is illustrated immediately during the first scene in the restaurant where he is instructing Pat on how to make an ice cream cone. Kids in the store engage in a food fight and he sneaks into the bathroom to avoid the situation. Macbeth, who practically runs the store anyway, quickly throws the kids out to the applaud of the rest of the patrons. The slow motion dramatics in this scene made it hilarious and should be noted.
As mentioned earlier, the manor in which Duncan’s murder is carried out helps us to form a more sympathetic view of Mac. Mac and Pat have Duncan bound and gagged in the kitchen. Mac and Pat are then

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