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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Juliet, Hamlet, and Othello vs. Richard the Third, Lady Macbeth, and Iago!

McCreery, Conor; Del Col, Anthony ; Belanger, Andy  (2010)  Kill Shakespeare: A Sea of Troubles  San Diego, IDW.

Somehow in the literary universe of Shakespeare's plays, his characters have figured out that he is the one directing their movements.  The evil ones (Richard the Third, Lady Macbeth, and Iago --the villain in the play Othello) have hatched a plot to trick Hamlet into somehow carrying out the murder.  Falstaff helps Hamlet to see Richard for what he is, a despotic tyrant, and eventually they meet Juliet (who has become a valiant warrior) and her strong-arm right hand guy, Othello.  They raise up an army to fight against Richard's Oppression.  Meanwhile, Lady Macbeth has cruelly killed her husband and seduced Richard and they combine their armies to seize control of as much of the world as they can.  They have also sent their spy, Iago, to infiltrate the rebel camp. 
This is a remarkable graphic novel.  Because of the violence and sexual references (no nudity, but some skimpy clothing and clearly implied situations), this would only work for high school students, and teacher will have to weigh the advantage of the book (amazing intertextual Shakespeare connections) against the possibility of a parental challenge.  Because o the potential for challenges, this is probably more of a classroom library book than a supplemental text to Shakespeare studies.   It is not a book for all of your students, but I am willing to bet that some of them will absolutely love it.
There is a sequel.  I haven't read it yet.  

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