Chapter 4: Lies like truth: Macbeth and the American Dream
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This essay examines two recent appropriations of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Billy Morrissette’s film Scotland, PA (2001) and Vince Gilligan’s AMC television series Breaking Bad (2008-2013) in order to explore how they adapt the central relationship of Shakespeare’s tragedy - between Macbeth and the “weird sisters” - into one between the American Everyman and the American Dream that politicians and marketers have so often equivocally exploited to their own ends. As both “fair” in its promises and often “foul” in its ethical emptiness, the American Dream recalls the doubleness that is central to Shakespeare’s play, a doubleness that very recently has become central to the often racist, sexist, and xenophobic manipulative strategies of leaders like Donald Trump.

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