Something wicked this way comes . . .
Dark ambitions, madness, and murder. Shakespeare’s classic story of a man’s reckless quest for power springs to life in Gareth Hinds’s masterful new graphic novel. Macbeth, a general in the King’s army, is returning from battle when he’s stopped by the sudden appearance of three witches who tell him one day he’ll be King.
At first Macbeth dismisses their predictions, but an evil seed takes root in his mind, and soon he is both convinced and impatient. At the urging of his wife, he resolves to take the throne by the most direct path: a dagger in the heart of King Duncan. But blood will have blood, and when others grow suspicious of his sudden rise to power, is Macbeth prepared to commit more murders to keep the crown?
Set against the moody backdrop of 11th century Scotland, this captivating, richly illustrated play takes readers into the claustrophobic mind of a man driven mad by ambition.
Based on an HBO animated series, these condensations emphasize the dramatic content of some of Shakespeare's best known works. As abridged by Garfield in consultation with a panel of scholars, the books on the whole retain the magic of Shakespeare's vision and remain true to his poetics. Linguistic fluidity is perforce sacrificed (omitted lines are presented as italicized summaries interspersed throughout the dialogue), but these versions should still fire children's imaginations. Though the artwork varies in quality, the Eastern European illustrators generally capture the underlying theatrics. Palettes are subdued for the dramas, and appropriately brighter for the comedies (though the tone reproductions frequently seem off). Several plays' illustrations have a cartoony appearance; a few exhibit the stilted look of old Classics Comics. While the plays forgo their complexities--many subplots are omitted--as they become more linear in their themes (Macbeth loses much of his humanity, Romeo and Juliet is pared of its politics), their nobility shines through in these visualized introductions. One hopes that readers will be encouraged to move on to the originals. Ages 10-up.
Reintroducing the Classics
After my experience with the classics in high school, I never thought I’d ever touch them again as an adult. Gareth Hinds brings a level of depth to his artistic interpretations that enabled me to appreciate the language at level I never understood the first time around. These graphic novels are not the watered down interpretations typically geared towards the education market. Hinds layers sophisticated art worthy of pairing with such timeless stories that will have adults and students alike savoring the finer points. Had these graphic approaches been around when I was in high school, I would have been able to access the discussion instead of tuning it out.