Note: Spoilers and if you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor…
Rob Roy (Liam Nesson), a Scottish Highlander, borrows money from Duke Fuckface (John Hurt) to flip cattle. Then Duke Fuckface’s nephew, Cunningham (Tim Roth), robs Rob Roy, takes his land as collateral, puts a warrant out for his arrest, and rapes Rob Roy’s wife, Mary.
Mary won’t tell Rob about the rape or how she’s pregnant because she knows Rob will defend her honor which is what Duke Fuckface wants. And Rob won’t accept help from anyone because of his honor. Rob says, “Honor is what no man can give you, and no man can take away.” He is also painfully accountable and says, “I am persecuted for no man’s sake but my own.”
“Honor is what no man can give you, and no man can take away.”
But Rob ends up in deep shit. Some of his friends are killed, and Rob is captured. So Mary goes to the Good Duke and rival to Duke Fuckface to ask for help because she knows Rob will not. She says:
“Robert refused. It was not done for Your Grace, but for his own honor, which he holds dearer than myself or his sons, his clan or kin. And for which I have oft chided him. But it is him and his way, and were he other, he would not be Robert Roy MacGregor. He would not come here before you nor would he favor me to do so in his stead. But I have no choice, unless I give him up entire to his enemies. And though I love his honor, it is but a moon-cast shadow to the love I bear him. For the grace of god, I have his child inside me. And I would have a father for it.”
The Good Duke responds, “You do your man no dishonor, Mary. Faith, he is a man much blessed by fortune.”
Later after Rob Roy escapes and finds Mary, she tells him everything, and Rob hates himself and says everything is his fault and he should have swallowed his pride so none of this happened and Mary wouldn’t have been wronged. Then they have the exchange below:
Mary MacGregor: “And wrong would have been done to you!”
Rob Roy: “And what of the wrong done you, wrong past bearing?”
Mary: “No, not past bearing, not past bearing. Not if I have my Robert, and he has himself. And you would not if you had done a lesser man’s bidding. Honor is a gift a man gives himself. You told our boys that. Would you have stolen from yourself that what makes you Robert MacGregor?”
Rob Roy: “My Mary. How fine you are to me.”
Mary: “And you to me….” (Then they kiss while I cry)
Both Mary and Rob Roy’s honor and support models whats essential after commitment. How you can only control your actions and how you let things affect you. Staying true to yourself in the face of hardship while supporting your partner. It showcases the difference between growing together and expecting the other person to change.
I understand the dynamic between Rob and Mary is fictional, but it is nonetheless something to aspire to. Mary loves him for exactly who he is, and she won’t let anyone take that away from him, even himself. And the same goes for Mary. They both love each other because they understand how rare that is, and somehow it creates this force of reciprocation, support, and love. There is no inequity between them unless they let each other become people they’re not.