Scotland, PA: Parody, Nostalgia, Irony, and Menippean Satire

  • Keith HarrisonEmail author


This chapter analyzes how the director, Billy Morrissette, transforms the tragic mode into the farcical through a back-dated, fast-food send-up of Shakespeare’s Scottish play. The filmmaker’s mocking of high seriousness is carnivalesque in its dialogic engagement with Macbeth. However, comedy is not the only result, as parody intersects with satire to voice political opposition concerning corporate, militaristic America. Employing the sometimes conflicting tones of nostalgia and irony, Morrissette’s complex dialogism with the past can be located in what Bakhtin categorizes as “grotesque realism,” which gives theoretical context to Jeffrey Sconce’s term, the new American “Smart” films, helping to elucidate Scotland, PA within the legacy of Menippean satire.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of English and Creative Writing & JournalismVancouver Island UniversityNanaimoCanada

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