Saturday, May 12, 2007


The appetite of publishers for comic book - or graphic novel - versions of Shakespeare plays seems undimmed. But is this a valid way of introducing the Bard to new readers?

2 comments:

chris said...

Why not? Unless you are accusing someone of confusing "play" with "work".

Comics are a different art than performance, but if they can present the subject in a new and interesting way, it could be good Shakespeare or a good comic, or both.

Lauren Esposito said...

Presenting Shakespeare through graphic form can have a tremendous impact on readers' understanding of the play and the visual imagery that the bard so beautifully and purposefully uses! There exists a copy of Othello in graphic novel form, which maintains the full text without any cuts or omissions. The author's interpretation enhances the bestiality and violence of many of Shakepeare's characters, and focuses on characteristic features through close-ups and captions.
Students apply their understanding of film and over mediums to graphic and comic forms.

When using this text in the classroom, I've experiences mixed reviews from students. Some are enthralled by the graphic images and continue to work through Shakespeare's language, using the images as guides to verbal and dramatic irony. Others feel the images distract them from the text and decide not to use the graphic form during class reading.

It's interesting to explore this phenomenon further and discover how these graphic forms of celebrated text can do a great deal to the already existing excitement of Shakespeare in the classroom!!