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Macbeth: The Graphic Novel (Original Text)

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Witches, murder, ghosts, and madness — one of Shakespeare’s finest tragedies is also a perfect fit for the graphic novel format. This compelling adaptation depicts every blood-curdling scene in easy-to-follow illustrations, accompanied by Shakespeare’s original text. An illustrated cast of characters reminds readers who’s who, and fascinating background information on Shak Witches, murder, ghosts, and madness — one of Shakespeare’s finest tragedies is also a perfect fit for the graphic novel format. This compelling adaptation depicts every blood-curdling scene in easy-to-follow illustrations, accompanied by Shakespeare’s original text. An illustrated cast of characters reminds readers who’s who, and fascinating background information on Shakespeare and the real Macbeth adds historical context.


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Witches, murder, ghosts, and madness — one of Shakespeare’s finest tragedies is also a perfect fit for the graphic novel format. This compelling adaptation depicts every blood-curdling scene in easy-to-follow illustrations, accompanied by Shakespeare’s original text. An illustrated cast of characters reminds readers who’s who, and fascinating background information on Shak Witches, murder, ghosts, and madness — one of Shakespeare’s finest tragedies is also a perfect fit for the graphic novel format. This compelling adaptation depicts every blood-curdling scene in easy-to-follow illustrations, accompanied by Shakespeare’s original text. An illustrated cast of characters reminds readers who’s who, and fascinating background information on Shakespeare and the real Macbeth adds historical context.

30 review for Macbeth: The Graphic Novel (Original Text)

  1. 5 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    Numerous comics adaptations exist of classic literature. Problem: Teachers want young people to be exposed to and appreciate some of the great stories in classic literature. Problem: Teachers want them to appreciate these stories in the full unabridged glory of their originals, in the original language. Problem: Students (well, an increasing number of people, not just students) struggle with understanding the story in the original language, thus possibly causing the classics appreciation goal to Numerous comics adaptations exist of classic literature. Problem: Teachers want young people to be exposed to and appreciate some of the great stories in classic literature. Problem: Teachers want them to appreciate these stories in the full unabridged glory of their originals, in the original language. Problem: Students (well, an increasing number of people, not just students) struggle with understanding the story in the original language, thus possibly causing the classics appreciation goal to backfire, causing some students to be permanently turned off to Great Works. Solution?: Never compromise; if you water these classics down, you cheat readers. Make them read the works in the original only. Solution: Help struggling readers visualize (and thus better understand) the play's action via film and graphic novels, necessarily adaptations of the original. Help struggling readers with glossaries and modern English translations that one can read alongside the originals. This series, Classical Comics, has three different versions of the classics, in this case Macbeth: The original text, a "plain" text (translated into modern English), and an even more simplified "quick" text that reduces the original to a kind of shell, and illustrates the story, that makes the plot a kind of shell, a useful shell for the lost and wandering (shooting spitballs in the back of the room, let's say). As a reader and lover of Macbeth I didn't love the quick text, as a lover of comics I thought the artwork was just straightforward, nothing special, but as a teacher who wants to draw i more and more people in continuing generations to Macbeth, I liked it pretty well, and admit its usefulness. I appreciate the effort to work at the task of classics love from a variety of perspectives.

  2. 5 out of 5

    StoryTellerShannon

    A nice idea. Shakespeare's “Macbeth” shown through a graphic novel. I find Shakespeare's language ponderous reading but I respect the Bard so I think this is a great read for somebody who wants more of a visual medium in understanding one of the classic works. The artwork was pretty but nothing but straight forward. WHEN READ: mid February 2012; OVERALL GRADE: B minus to B.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Thandar

    The story was great. It is based on true story. The illustrations made the book even better. It's like a comic. The story is that Macbeth was a leader in the king's army. He won many wars so the king made him the Thane of Cawdor but he became greedy and killed the king. So he became the king and things got worse in Scotland.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Özlem Güzelharcan

    Acı üstüne acı, kan üstüne kan, kayna kazanım kayna, yan ateşim yan! Klasikleri çizgi roman olarak yeniden okumak öyle keyifli ki.. Kitabın sonundaki tarihi açıklamalar ve kitabın hazırlanışı ile ilgili ek bilgiler de ayrı güzel olmuş.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mehmet Dönmez

    Koca klasiği çizgi romandan okudum ilk Allah affetsin. Sonda Shakespeare’in nerden ve nasıl feyz aldığının, eserin hangi zamanda yazıldığının açıklandığı kısımlar bayağı bilgilendirici

  6. 4 out of 5

    MJ Nicholls

    These graphic novel treatments of Shakespeare are a marvel. Not everyone falls in love with the Bard aged sixteen, reading Hamlet or King Lear, so these gorgeously illustrated texts prick the preciousness of Shakey by giving younger people a way in. I found this comic strip as moving and dramatic and stormy as the stage version. The text is really brought screaming to life by John McDonald and Jon Haward. I wish the whole canon could be adapted like this. For life's but a walking shadow, a poor These graphic novel treatments of Shakespeare are a marvel. Not everyone falls in love with the Bard aged sixteen, reading Hamlet or King Lear, so these gorgeously illustrated texts prick the preciousness of Shakey by giving younger people a way in. I found this comic strip as moving and dramatic and stormy as the stage version. The text is really brought screaming to life by John McDonald and Jon Haward. I wish the whole canon could be adapted like this. For life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Johan

    Does one thing lead to another? Macbeth and Lady Macbeth assassinate King Duncan and Banquo so Mabeth himself can be crowned as king of Scotland. Later, the assassinations come back to haunt the two of them and start make them uneasy about the killings. Both, Macbeth, and Lady Macbeth feel the guilt of the assassinations and start to hallucinate. As they start to lose their state of thought, they start being suspected by the people.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sahar Pirmoradian

    I am really glad that I finally managed to read through one of Shakespeare’s plays. Reading in graphical novel made it possible. I admit the language was very difficult for me as a non-native English speaker, so I didn’t fully understand many dialogues, however, thanks to the entertaining graphics, at least I managed to read through and not to give up. But I am going to buy the Plain-text version for other Shakespeare plays, and not the original-text version, which was just too heavy for me. The I am really glad that I finally managed to read through one of Shakespeare’s plays. Reading in graphical novel made it possible. I admit the language was very difficult for me as a non-native English speaker, so I didn’t fully understand many dialogues, however, thanks to the entertaining graphics, at least I managed to read through and not to give up. But I am going to buy the Plain-text version for other Shakespeare plays, and not the original-text version, which was just too heavy for me. The last few pages of book talk about the true story of Macbeth and the connections to the play. And also how the play was influenced by the circumstances of Shakespeare’s time. I found those information useful and interesting.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Maldonado

    Does one thing lead to another ? Yes one thing leads to another because in Act One Scene Three the witch sisters went to find Macbeth and each said "All hail Macbeth hail to you, Thane of Glams!" "All Hail Macbeth! Hail to you, thane of Cawdor!" "All hail Macbeth! You will be king hereafter." Macbeth questioned why he would become king. He than has Nobleman of Scotland go up to him to escort him to the king for his fearless rampage. Macbeth ends up having Banquo killed, and he himself starts seei Does one thing lead to another ? Yes one thing leads to another because in Act One Scene Three the witch sisters went to find Macbeth and each said "All hail Macbeth hail to you, Thane of Glams!" "All Hail Macbeth! Hail to you, thane of Cawdor!" "All hail Macbeth! You will be king hereafter." Macbeth questioned why he would become king. He than has Nobleman of Scotland go up to him to escort him to the king for his fearless rampage. Macbeth ends up having Banquo killed, and he himself starts seeing the Ghost of Banquo and Lady Macbeth tries to calm him down. In the end of act three scene four he says to Lady Macbeth "come lets go to bed. This strange self doubt is just a beginners stage fright. We need to get used to this--we're new to this kind of killing." One thing lead to another because he all of a sudden wants to get used to "this kind of killing" so he can become king.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Murat G.

    Çizgi Roman..

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jesus

    Does it make sense? In Macbeth act 1 scene 3, it kind of doesnt make sense why the witches give Macbeth information about their future. they tell them a small part of their fortune and disappear out of nowhere. Macbeth tells them to tell him more before they leave, but they didnt wait for him to finish.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Ruiz

    In Macbeth, There is always something going on and brewing, just getting ready to happen. With the witches in Macbeth that share their views/vision of the future they make the other characters that have stumbled upon them feel wise like they know all that will come and they are confident in the witches words so they act out thinking that since they know they will not lose. once they have that sort of insight the book turns into one big domino effect. Once one thing happens something is ready to In Macbeth, There is always something going on and brewing, just getting ready to happen. With the witches in Macbeth that share their views/vision of the future they make the other characters that have stumbled upon them feel wise like they know all that will come and they are confident in the witches words so they act out thinking that since they know they will not lose. once they have that sort of insight the book turns into one big domino effect. Once one thing happens something is ready to follow to continue on the story and the actions. No matter what act you're in, there will always be room for more to happen and it probably will.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Grace Bittle

    Well it was a little hard to read, because it was in the original text. But aside for than it was very good!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Yesenia

    do we understand why they are doing certain things? I think that Macbeth by classic comics is a very interesting book. The book includes many situations that creates suspense for the readers. For example when the three witches were manipulating Macbeth to tell him his future. At first, the readers didn't understand what the witches were trying to get out of it. At the end of the book, we find out that bringing Macbeth to know his future actually brings peace to everyone.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Peren

    Does the action escalate? The action escalated throughout the book. It first started off with Macbeth meeting with the witches and them trying tell him he wouldn't be king and he would make somebody else king. After the witches tell that to Macbeth he starts trying to kill others so he can become king and not get killed himself. This part of the play is intense because its either Macbeth makes his move or he gets killed so he really has no option .

  16. 5 out of 5

    Madeline Cruz

    For struggling readers or ELL students, or just to make a Shakespeare Unit easier to maneuver through, this comic is excellent. There are three versions of the comic – the actual text, a direct translation or plain text, and quick text. This enables the teacher to choose the difficulty level he or she wants the students to have while reading the novel. The version I read was the quick text, and I will say it is the most enjoyable experience I've had with Shakespeare. The graphics are fun and col For struggling readers or ELL students, or just to make a Shakespeare Unit easier to maneuver through, this comic is excellent. There are three versions of the comic – the actual text, a direct translation or plain text, and quick text. This enables the teacher to choose the difficulty level he or she wants the students to have while reading the novel. The version I read was the quick text, and I will say it is the most enjoyable experience I've had with Shakespeare. The graphics are fun and colorful. The style kind of reminds of the “classic” action novel. The artwork actually coincides with the play, so the acts can be followed through the pictures. I think this is very helpful as opposed to a graphic novel that has it's own spin off of a story (ex. Romeo and Juliet elves and dwarves). As it promises on the back cover, it was a fast easy read in Quick text. In the back of the book, it shows the comparison of the text when it is in the Original and when it is in Plain text. If a school is open minded, I would teach Macbeth using the Original version.They still get the same exact texts as they would in play form . The only problem is that the students won't get the actual layout of the play, but this can be solved with a few mini-lessons. Overall this is a very helpful graphic novel and since there are three versions, the possibilities with it are endless. Madeline & Kristin

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine

    Loved how accessible this version was.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kalliope Kovatch

    Macbeth- By William Shakespeare Macbeth is a tragic masterpiece that you can’t put down until you are finished. The graphic novel version of the tragedy “Macbeth” is a classic that I would recommend to everyone. By using an interesting plot and characters, it shows how guilt can affect your well being, how no evil deed goes unpunished. This is a short but powerful story. Macbeth, a war hero had an unexpected event happen to him in the forest one day. Evil witches tell him of his future, causing hi Macbeth- By William Shakespeare Macbeth is a tragic masterpiece that you can’t put down until you are finished. The graphic novel version of the tragedy “Macbeth” is a classic that I would recommend to everyone. By using an interesting plot and characters, it shows how guilt can affect your well being, how no evil deed goes unpunished. This is a short but powerful story. Macbeth, a war hero had an unexpected event happen to him in the forest one day. Evil witches tell him of his future, causing him to murder anyone who gets in his way. Madness leads him to his death. Banquo, Macbeth’s friend who helped lead Scotland to victory has quite a role in the story. The witches turn Macbeth against him and his sons with their twisted fortune. Who will prevail in this classic struggle? The graphic novel of Macbeth has very vivid drawings; it is like the play is happening before your very eyes. It’s organized by acts, and has many different scenes. It is trying to project a play onto paper and is very effective. This format makes the play much more exciting and palatable to the reader. Macbeth has a very powerful message: no evil deed shall go unpunished. Greed and desire for power can lead to one's demise. It also has a secondary message: don’t listen to crazy witches in the forest trying to manipulate you!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    This series of graphic novels is offered in three versions: the original text, a simplified text, and the quick text. For struggling or developing readers, the quick text version provides them access to what is otherwise very difficult language. The language used is simple and direct. Our low-level readers were able to read and understand the story and discuss theme without much difficulty. The simplified text looks like it would be appropriate for students who struggle with the original text b This series of graphic novels is offered in three versions: the original text, a simplified text, and the quick text. For struggling or developing readers, the quick text version provides them access to what is otherwise very difficult language. The language used is simple and direct. Our low-level readers were able to read and understand the story and discuss theme without much difficulty. The simplified text looks like it would be appropriate for students who struggle with the original text but are still capable of understanding complex, figurative, and nuanced language. For students who would do fine with the original text, that version of this graphic novel would serve to provide visual assistance when reading trickier parts and help students visualize the story. The graphics of this book were easy to follow from cell to cell for the most part, but some characters look very similar and in other scenes, a character's face isn't visible and it can be a challenge for students to identify them.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Fagshelf

    "Messier", less appealing artstyle than in some other adaptations I read, but this fully keeps the original text, which is a redeeming factor. I'm also not a fan of the presentation of the Weird Sisters: they are changed (no beards while the text still says beards!), and they just look zombielike, with some of their accessories even adding a comedic effect... Changed to leave out any unique element of their original description, while changed to not add any uniqueness to them...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lillian Bittle

    It took forever to read this book! I have to say: if you want to read Macbeth, read it this way. I don't think that I want to read Shakespear's version after all, but I'm glad I tried the graphic novel.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kait

    The version I read was also accompanied with an audio track that had voice actors reading and sound affects. This version was specifically designed for ELL students and therefore was not in Elizabethan. I actually really enjoyed this production. Good art and good voice actors.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Hal Brodsky

    Good "translation".

  24. 5 out of 5

    Brad Schanche

    There is nothing new I can say about Macbeth, but reading it as a graphic novel was enjoyable.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Reffstrup

    Lady Macbeth er en special kind of crazy 😂

  26. 5 out of 5

    Anna Wallman

    This story was a bit hard to grasp, but I love being able to get the "reader's digest" version with graphics. Now I know at least what the story is about :) Great to get facts pages on Shakespear, the Globe and about the real Macbeth.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Owlboyle

    The complete play translated into plain English. It's 11th century Scotland. Macbeth, Thane of Glamis, is one of King Duncan's greatest war captains. Upon returning from a battle with the rebellious Thane of Cawdor, Macbeth and Banquo encounter three witches, who prophecy that Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor and then King. They also prophecy that Banquo will become the father of kings. When Lady Macbeth hears this, she is determined to push her husband to take fate into his own hands and mak The complete play translated into plain English. It's 11th century Scotland. Macbeth, Thane of Glamis, is one of King Duncan's greatest war captains. Upon returning from a battle with the rebellious Thane of Cawdor, Macbeth and Banquo encounter three witches, who prophecy that Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor and then King. They also prophecy that Banquo will become the father of kings. When Lady Macbeth hears this, she is determined to push her husband to take fate into his own hands and make himself king by murdering Duncan. Macbeth is reluctant to harm Duncan. But, when the King makes arrangements to visit Macbeth's castle, the opportunity presents itself. Pressed on by his wife, Macbeth kills Duncan and blames the King's drunken attendants, who he also kills. However, Macbeth is racked with guilt and begins to see apparitions. When the body is discovered, Malcolm and Donalbain, the King's sons, are suspicious of Macbeth and flee for their lives. To everyone else, it looks as if the sons have been the chief conspirators and Macbeth is crowned King of Scotland. Banquo's suspicions grow, based on his encounter with the witches and Macbeth is wary of the second prophecy concerning Banquo's offspring. Macbeth hires assassins to kill Banquo and his son, Fleance. Banquo is murdered that night, but Fleance escapes. The bloody ghost of Banquo appears to Macbeth at a feast, tormenting his already guilty conscience. In addition, Macduff, once a comrade of Macbeth, has fled after the King's sons to England, as he also suspects Macbeth. In revenge, Macbeth butchers Macduff's entire household. Macduff and the King's sons raise an army in England and march against Macbeth, who is given another prophecy by the witches, as he prepares for the assault. They tell him his throne is safe until Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane and he will not die by the hand of any man born of a woman. Macbeth now feels invincible. Lady Macbeth, on the other hand, has been slowly driven mad by her dreams, in the wake of Duncan's murder. She sleepwalks and eventually kills herself. Macbeth learns that many of his lords are deserting and joining Malcolm's army, which approaches Dunsinane under cover of boughs, which they've cut from the trees of Birnam Wood. Macbeth and Macduff eventually meet on the bloody battlefield. Macbeth laughs derisively, relating the witches' prophecy. But Macduff retorts that he was from his mother's womb untimely ripp'd and not (technically) of woman born. The play ends with the death of Macbeth and Malcolm is crowned King of Scotland.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lotuslulu

    For centuries, teachers have taught the text of Shakespeare and dutiful students have read aloud in class, or worse, been sent home to read it alone only to come back to class and be tested on the subject matter. In the last few decades, classes have been able to watch a film version or a recorded stage version in the class, but usually it was after reading it and after the quiz. This is no way to treat and teach a play. A play is written to be seen. Shakespeare wrote his words to be heard not b For centuries, teachers have taught the text of Shakespeare and dutiful students have read aloud in class, or worse, been sent home to read it alone only to come back to class and be tested on the subject matter. In the last few decades, classes have been able to watch a film version or a recorded stage version in the class, but usually it was after reading it and after the quiz. This is no way to treat and teach a play. A play is written to be seen. Shakespeare wrote his words to be heard not be sounded out syllable by syllable as students struggle over thee and thy in their desks.How can we as educators expect that this will foster a love of THE BARD? Why teach these plays for four hundred years if not to love them? So it irks me that many reviewers are saying that this graphic novel, that is true to the text, is for struggling readers or ESL students and not for the whole of a class. No. NO! This graphic novel is the minimum we owe to kids when we are teaching the text of a play that is meant to be seen. This is what we owe to the students whose language is so far from that of the play we might as well be reading Latin or Spanish, a language where there are some similarities, but you have to concentrate to see them. This is what we owe to the generation of students who are in school now who are more visual than any other generation before them. This is how they can fall in love with the play, and this is how we can invite interest into the language - when it is accompanied by picture. That is not to say we shouldn't still do class reading or watch the film versions, no those still belong too. This graphic novel gives them a hope to use visual literacy to help them interpret the language themselves instead of we educators serving as a translator for every line. This graphic novel makes Shakespeare accessible, and isn't that what we want? I want to see these in the hands of every student who is reading Shakespeare for the first time. There is a modern and a quick text version available as well and those make great fits for students who struggle to read or those ESL students who need to see the Bard's words in a different context, but this version, with the original text, should be in schools everywhere.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    So a few months ago I was listening to a Shakespeare play on CD, and I thought, "Gee, it would cool if this were a graphic novel. I mean, the text is written, there are a few stage directions, you just need to draw the pictures. Easy!" Of course I assumed I'd come up with a million-dollar idea. Well, a quick search on Amazon proved that I had again failed to come up with an original thought. But on the up-side, it also showed that there were some cool-looking graphic novel versions of Shakespear So a few months ago I was listening to a Shakespeare play on CD, and I thought, "Gee, it would cool if this were a graphic novel. I mean, the text is written, there are a few stage directions, you just need to draw the pictures. Easy!" Of course I assumed I'd come up with a million-dollar idea. Well, a quick search on Amazon proved that I had again failed to come up with an original thought. But on the up-side, it also showed that there were some cool-looking graphic novel versions of Shakespeare plays already in circulation. I think the graphic novel is a very good way to read Shakespeare. Some of the visual cues are very helpful to readers, for example to show the feeling and intent of a character who is saying a particular line. Unfortunately, while I did enjoy this book, I think it failed in a number of ways. First, the pictures are, at times, just plain bad. The artist seems to have a strangely distorted understanding of what humans look like. I'm sure he's seen some, but I don't think he was paying very good attention. That said, I do approve of the use of color and style changes to accent different parts of the play. It worked like stage lighting. Very cool. More disappointing was the lettering. We don't have the original manuscripts, so we don't exactly know where Shakespeare ended the lines of dialog, but we can say, with a high level of certainty, where the end-rhymes are. Most of the time the lettering completely ignores the rhyme scheme and meter of the play, which can make you stop and read a page again with your emphasis in the wrong place. Also, when a new character is introduced, it would be good to have the person's name. I thought this book was disappointing, but I also must say that I enjoyed reading it. As a proof-of-concept it definitely works, and I hope that more, perhaps better-skilled artists, will chose to work on Shakespeare graphic novels. I'd love to read them.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Wallace Johnson

    Genre: I placed this title in my reading log under Graphic Novel, Junior Books Summary: A warrior named Macbeth meets three witches who tell him of his future. They tell him that he will be the King of Scotland. Macbeth goes against his personal values with help from his wife and kills King Duncan and other people so he can gain the throne and maintain it for his own blood line. Critique: (a.) There were plenty of things that made this book standout to me but the most important was the author and Genre: I placed this title in my reading log under Graphic Novel, Junior Books Summary: A warrior named Macbeth meets three witches who tell him of his future. They tell him that he will be the King of Scotland. Macbeth goes against his personal values with help from his wife and kills King Duncan and other people so he can gain the throne and maintain it for his own blood line. Critique: (a.) There were plenty of things that made this book standout to me but the most important was the author and the way he told more than the story. It was the way he broke the story down by dissecting the play making it more understandable and enjoyable for myself and the recommended age of 12 and up readers. (b.) Starting on page 4, the author has illustrations of all the characters and their names. This enabled me, while reading, to understand them and their positions even more. Then on page 6, the author opens up with an introduction that prepared me for the story I was about to embark upon. (c.) The author even goes a step farther in helping readers understand the story by having a glossary in the back of the book to ensure the readers can make sense of the words they might not understand. To make the story even more interesting to me was how the author placed on page 139 and 140 actual famous quotes from Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Curriculum Connection: This would be a fantastic story to read in a class that might have trouble with reading and reading comprehension. The short dialogue keeps reading to a minimum. Also, with shorter scenes I think it would allow teachers to check for understanding more frequently. In my opinion, the bright pictures and action packed story would also keep the attention of many readers.

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