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Review: Macbeth: The Graphic Novel by William Shakespeare + Classical Comics

Macbeth: The Graphic Novel
by William Shakespeare and team at Classical Comics



If you made it through high school here in America, you've probably read Macbeth. It's one of William Shakespeare's most popular plays (possibly because it is the shortest of the tragedies) known for outstanding characterizations and universal themes that can be easily adapted to any time or place. It is one of the Bard's most frequently performed plays, and thought by many in the theatre community to be cursed. It is not uncommon for actors to refer to it as "The Scottish Play" or "The Bard's Play" rather than saying the name proper.

Classical Comics has taken Shakespeare's Macbeth and created a beautiful graphic novel. It is available in three versions:
Original Text: The complete text of Macbeth, unaltered from the Bard's vision
Plain Text: Macbeth's script is updated to "normal" English, but maintains the form and pacing of the original plain
Quick Text: Macbeth rendered in modern speech. This is the closest version to our regular speaking patterns.

I read the Original Text version, and it was superb. The art was stunning, with bright, vivid colors and bold, clean lines. It looks just like a "real" comic book - let me explain. Often when I have read graphic novel adaptions of literature, the art just isn't that good because the creators are not comic book artists. They might not follow the conventions of comic books, or the figures they draw will look odd because proportions are off...these minor sorts of things. But this is not a problem with Macbeth. Jon Haward is a veteran of the comic book industry, with over twenty years experience, and it shows through in his art.

It's important to keep in mind that Shakespeare's works were meant to be viewed, to be performed, and I feel that graphic novels like Macbeth help bridge the gap between the text in a book and on the stage. The illustrations bring life and energy to the old play, and due to the multiple literacy levels there's an edition that would suit anyone.


To read more about Macbeth: The Graphic Novel, buy it or add it to your wishlist, click here.


Classical Comic
s appears to be working their way through the Shakespeare canon. Current and upcoming titles:
Henry V (available now)
The Tempest (May 2009)
Romeo & Juliet (July 2009)
Richard III (March 2010)
Hamlet (2010)

Tags: *****, 11th century, 1603, 1606, 2008, classical comics, classics, english, graphic novel, jon haward, librarything, murder, r2008, scotland, shakespeare, tragedy, william shakespeare, witches
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