If William Shakespeare’s Macbeth had been written in the language and setting of 21st century Scotland, how and why might it differ?

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kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If Macbeth was set in the twenty-first century, it would be a very different play. Firstly, Scotland no longer has a monarchy. This is due to the Act of Union, a piece of legislation from 1707, in which the kingdoms of England and Scotland became one. A twenty-first-century version of Macbeth, therefore, would feature the English monarchy and, most likely, take place in London. Alternatively, it could feature a Scottish nobleman who murders the English queen and takes the throne for himself. Accordingly, the character of King Duncan would be transformed into that of Queen Elizabeth II.

In regards to the language, a 21st century Macbeth would look and sound very different when compared to Shakespeare's version. Words like, "thou" and "thine," for example, would be replaced by "you" and "yours."

In addition, we could expect the battle scenes, like those in act 1 and act 5, to be replaced by more modern examples of warfare, featuring guns and tanks instead of arrows and knives.