Macbeth: The Graphic Novel

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9780142404096: Macbeth: The Graphic Novel

The Graphic Novelization of a Classic Tale!

Shakespeare’s classic play of deception, intrigue, and murder is reinvented in the Japanese manga style. Set on a vast ringworld encircling a sun, Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth, scheme and plot their way to power, only to be undone by their own deadly plans. Artist Tony Tamai’s unique vision and style breathe new life into a captivating classic.

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About the Author:

William Shakespeare (April 1564 - April 23, 1616) was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, and his birth is traditionally celebrated on April 23. He was one of eight children born to John Shakespeare, a merchant of some standing in his community. William probably went to the King’s New School in Stratford, but he had no university education. In November 1582, at the age of eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway, eight years his senior, who was pregnant with their first child, Susanna. By 1592 Shakespeare had gone to London working as an actor and already known as a playwright. Shakespeare became a principal shareholder and playwright of the successful acting troupe, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men (later under James I, called the King’ s Men). In 1599 the Lord Chamberlain’s Men built and occupied the Globe Theater in Southwark near the Thames River. Here many of Shakespeare’s plays were performed by the most famous actors of his time. In addition to his 37 plays, Shakespeare had a hand in others, including Sir Thomas More and The Two Noble Kinsmen, and he wrote poems, including Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. His 154 sonnets were published, probably without his authorization, in 1609. In 1611 or 1612 he gave up his lodgings in London and devoted more and more time to retirement in Stratford, though he continued writing such plays as The Tempest and Henry VII until about 1613. He died on April 23 1616, and was buried in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford. No collected edition of his plays was published during his life-time, but in 1623 two members of his acting company, John Heminges and Henry Condell, put together the great collection now called the First Folio.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 9 Up–In this adaptation, the Weird Sisters are cloaked robots that speak in barcode, the soldiers horses are winged dragonlike creatures, and the letters to Lady Macbeth arrive via computer. Despite the intriguing potential of this format and the updated setting, the book is disappointing. As the story opens, the black-and-white artwork is intricate and appealing. However, readers unfamiliar with the plot will have difficulty following the action and the characters. Also, the quality of the illustrations tends to deteriorate at random intervals. For example, in some scenes Lady Macbeth is harshly outlined with thick black lines that look like the work of an amateur manga artist, while in the same panel her husband appears masterfully drawn. Similarly, halfway through the murder of Lady Macduff, the style shifts abruptly, disrupting the flow of the panels. This science-fiction version of the play might be fun to use in a classroom to illustrate the timelessness of the Bards plays, but it is unlikely to find a wide audience.–Heather M. Lisowski, Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO
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William Shakespeare, Arthur Byron Cover (Adapter), Tony Leonard Tamai (Illustrator)
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