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.
Following his adaptations of Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, and King Lear, Hinds turns to the story of the Scottish king who is ruined by his ambition. The play's supernatural elements give Hinds the chance to bring some of Shakespeare's eeriest imaginings to life. He paints the three weird sisters a crone, a pagan goddess, and an African witch perched on tree branches like crows. The ghost of Banquo sits down for dinner bathed in cool blue light that reddens as blood courses down his skin. Judicious abridging and even rewording make the text more accessible, yet Shakespeare's language is preserved throughout. "What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account?" Lady Macbeth cries as she tries frantically to clean her hands of blood, a moment whose intensity Hinds drives home with close-ups of dozens of hands rubbing each other, over and over. Such visceral, violent imagery is common Hinds understands, as Shakespeare did, that sorcery and gore are powerful draws. Detailed endnotes provide "making-of" style details. Ages 12 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.