Today, for obvious reasons, I’ve been thinking about Scotland.
Alas poor Scotland! Shakespeare set fewer of his plays there than in Verona – not an auspicious start… And it’s all about the wars – in Henry IV Northumberland fights (offstage) there, Henry VI is banished there, and in Macbeth it isn’t exactly a land flowing with milk and honey (in the McAvoy version in the Trafalgar Studios it was a post-apocalyptic wasteland, for goodness sake!).
So, it is a little challenging to be properly balanced here, in the spirit of journalistic integrity. In The Comedy of Errors Scotland is found “by the barrenness, hard in the palm of the hand”. In Henry VI it “hath will to help, but cannot help”. In Macbeth it has the best and the worst – it is “Almost afraid to know itself! It cannot Be call’d our mother, but our grave” but “hath foisons [abundance] to fill up your will”.
I’m not sure if that’s a yes or a no for independence…