Bologna’s Bridegroom: Meat and Murder in Scotland, PA


  • Dianne E. Berg



Replacing the Middle Ages with the 1970s, and the Scottish royal court with a restaurant in a small, insular American town, the 2001 black comedy Scotland, PA explores issues of subjectivity, agency, and exploitation through tropes of food, meat, and “butchery.” Director Billy Morrissette’s transposition of Macbeth to an economically depressed American community highlights the moral, ethical, and social tensions between mass-produced and homemade, consumer and consumed, and a system of brutal instrumentality that reduces living subjects to objectified commodities. Reinventing the play as the tragedy of a deposed, provincial burger king, his rapacious usurpers, and the vegetarian outsider who exposes them, Scotland, PA repackages Shakespeare’s themes of power and ambition in a form accessible, palatable, and easily consumed in a fast-food nation.

Author Biography

Dianne E. Berg

Dianne Berg’s research focuses on literary representations of domestic violence, and how disruptions within the family threaten highly gendered political ideologies equating a “healthy” home with an embodied, thriving state. Her book project, Pulp Non-Fiction: True Crime and Fake News in Early Modern England, explores the cultural significance of the enduring popular interest in such narratives and the strikingly consistent rhetoric surrounding them, especially in their portrayal of female victims and perpetrators. Her work has previously appeared in Borrowers and Lenders, and in the edited volumes Medieval and Early Modern Murder: Legal, Literary, and Historical Contexts and Treason: Medieval and Early Modern Treachery, Betrayal, and Shame. Dr. Berg teaches English at Clark University.