- Age Range: 12 - 15 years
- Grade Level: 7 - 10
- Series: No Fear Shakespeare
- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: SparkNotes (April 15, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1586638440
- ISBN-13: 978-1586638443
- Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.2 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2,403 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hamlet (No Fear Shakespeare)
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From Library Journal
The big H comes to Penguin's great revamped "Pelican Shakespeare" line. What else do you need to know? Buy it!
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
With text taken from the No Fear Shakespeare series, which modernized Shakespeare’s original language, this entry in the No Fear Shakespeare Graphic Novels line makes the Bard even more accessible. The language has been further simplified, but not dumbed down, and the story stays true to the arc of the play, with the monologues and interiors nearly intact. Babra’s artwork, though far from flashy, is no mere window dressing, its clear, black-and-white scenes often shifting into a stark, expressionistic mode that heightens the drama. Along with a nicely digestible version of the play, this will give readers a feel for Shakespeare’s language and wordplay (many of the famous lines and naughty double entendres have been preserved). With all that going for it, this admirable effort is likely to succeed in the classroom, as well as appeal to those already drawn to Shakespeare. As far as graphic novel readers are concerned, however, sticking so close to the original may present a harder pill to swallow. Grades 9-12. --Ian Chipman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Then there is the matter that at least two other hardcopy editions are displayed on the same page, and the “editorial reviews” that are associated with the Kindle edition seem to have absolutely nothing to do with the edition since they speak of “copious and concise explanatory notes” et al., with the other review mentioning appendixes that relate to Plutarch, Montaigne, et al. And none of this exists in the edition I purchased, admitted for only 99 cents... but still. If this was a page on Wikipedia, there would be three separate whisk brooms, with the admonition that “this page needs to be (really!) cleaned up.
Oh yes, was there an actual play involved in all the above grousing? Definitely, and I must have read 95% percent of the complete play, which poses its own sort of dilemma in terms of recording the play as “read.” It is yet another classic story – historically based – of power, corruption, intrigue, and death. The death of Julius Caesar marked a key transition in Roman history, from Republic, in its faded forms, to Empire.
As with so much Greek and Roman drama, Shakespeare commences with a prophecy warning of the ides of March. A prime plotter against Caesar, Cassius, brings in Brutus (of “et tu?” fame) and seeks the “respectability” of bringing in the “silver hair” of Cicero. There are refreshingly “modern” and straightforward details such as Cassius relating incidents from his youth together with Caesar, a swim in the Tiber (in which the latter almost drown) to an illness in Spain, all proof, he says, that Caesar is not a god. There is a discussion among the plotters about killing Mark Anthony too, but then the consensus is that it would be too much like a butchery, and not a “seasoned excise” of this ugly boil upon the Republic.
Caesar is killed, literally on the floor of the Senate, obviously long before those ubiquitous metal detectors. He is killed half way through the play, so the remainder is devoted to the (naturally inevitable?) falling out among the plotters, including a key division between Cassius and Brutus. Anthony performs a brilliant funeral oration, that seems to argue on the justice of the killing, but actually turns the tide against the plotters. He allies himself with Octavius, who would become Emperor.
At one level, an “exhausting read” of intrigue and perfidy that makes “hanging chads” a much preferable method for power transitions. Who would have thought I’d say that? The plotters do lose out in the end... if I only knew what that actually end was! 3-stars, reflecting a “triangulation” between an excellent play and an incomplete edition that did not live up to its advertising.
The book itself came very well packed, the pages were not bent, or the cover. It was well written with no errors that I have ran across, and the text is readable. It is a good size for anyone, though a little smaller then the average book it can still work out just fine. The cover itself is practical but very interesting in itself, and smooth so you won't get anything sticky or annoying to deal with. It is easy to keep track of where you are at so if you have bookmarks or so on use them. Not hard to lose at all, and great condition.