Robert S. Miola is Gerard Manley Hopkins Chair of English at Loyola University Maryland. He is the author of Shakespeare's Reading, Shakespeare and Classical Comedy: The Influence of Plautus and Terence, Shakespeare and Classical Tragedy: The Influence of Seneca, and The Comedy of Errors: Critical Essays, as well as dozens of articles on sixteenth-century English literature.
The Yale annotated editions of these dramatic polar opposites include loads of textual notes and scholarly introductions, plus essays by Harold Bloom, all for the price of lunch at Mickey Ds. Supersized Shakespeare on the cheap. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Shakespeare's tragedy about the ill-fated thane of Cawdor is brought to life via this one-man interpretation from Alan Cumming. Motivated by his scheming wife, Macbeth lusts for and then takes power, which leads to regicide and his own undoing. Building upon his performance in the audio edition of A.J. Hartley and David Hewson's Macbeth: A Novel, Cumming executes a captivating solo performance of this classic play. With an authentic Scottish accent, Cumming ably embodies Lord Macbeth. He shifts from character to character seamlessly, capturing the tone, attitude, and emphasis of each, while providing an increasing intensity that conveys the reprehensible, irreparable nature of the title character's actions. In addition to embracing the various characters, Cumming's powerful performance even elevates the play's stage directions, which-rather than feeling like crude interruptions to the dialogue-slip in smoothly like the knife used to slay King Duncan. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Gr 7 Up-In these additions to the series, characters are introduced with full-color illustrations accompanied by a play quotation revealing the essence of each cast member. Both adaptations use excerpts from Shakespeare's words paired with black-and-white art to dramatize the action. Although the books are categorized as manga, pages are read from front to back, left to right. Caesar is set in a contemporary world filled with cell phones and motorcycles. The artist's imagery, such as the serpent in Brutus's home and the puppets in Cassius's hands, adds depth and layers of meaning to the text. Stage directions, noted in boxes at the top of panels, help readers to follow the story. While the style of artwork appears "busy" for manga, the artist's rendition of faces accurately captures each character's feelings in this emotionally charged adaptation. Macbeth is set in a postapocalyptic world, with crumbling cities, alien beings who serve as "witches," and men with Charles Atlas-like bodies. Bold, dynamic male figures reinforce the notion of mutations in both body and emotion. The setting introduces some anachronisms. Sophisticated communication devices seem at odds with armor-clad riders carrying swords and traveling on horseback. Although segments of well-known speeches are included, the abridgment seems choppy. Numerous, briefly introduced characters and abrupt scene changes make it difficult to follow the story line. However, readers familiar with the play may appreciate this futuristic adaptation.-Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.