Robert the Bruce and the Scottish Independence

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This research aims to contribute to the field of tourism by investigating national identity and stereotype formation of and by tourism destination Scotland. It poses as a response to a question from earlier academic literature about what ambiguous narratives might be successful. By exploring concepts of country branding and cinematic representations of Scotland via the legend of Robert the Bruce, the King of Scots in the early fourteenth century, this thesis provides insight into the success of this ambiguous narrative and its place within Scottish identities and stereotypes. This research considers his legend, its role in Scottish identity, its cinematic adaptations, namely So Dear to My Heart (1948), Braveheart (1995), The Bruce (1996), Outlaw King (2018) and Robert the Bruce (2019) and its marketing on VisitScotland, the official Scottish National Tourism Board. These analyses serve as the groundwork on which I base my results. This thesis examines how the perceived Scottish national identity is shaped by its historical past, the stereotypes to which it is reduced and its differentiation with identities of foreign countries. Dominant Scottish stereotypes continue to be formed by circulating representations, such as cinematic adaptations of Scottish narratives and perceived identities, and interpretations of filmmakers, audiences, governmental officials and tourists. The analysis of what cinematic representations of Robert the Bruce are present on VisitScotland, clarifies how tourists and online visitors might interpret the legend of Robert the Bruce as a characteristic of the popularized Scottish national stereotype. Keywords: branding, representations, film, Scotland, Robert the Bruce, national identity, national stereotype, VisitScotland.
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