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King Lear

Overview

A taut adaptation of Shakespeare’s masterwork by Gareth Hinds — the standard-bearer of graphic-novel retellings of literary classics.

In a graceful adaptation, Gareth Hinds transforms Shakespeare’s timeless tale of pride and defiance, loyalty and ambition, betrayal and revenge into graphic-novel format, packing it with visual drama and providing accessible notes. This artful edition — like an extraordinary stage performance — offers a striking new perspective on one of the most ...

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King Lear

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Overview

A taut adaptation of Shakespeare’s masterwork by Gareth Hinds — the standard-bearer of graphic-novel retellings of literary classics.

In a graceful adaptation, Gareth Hinds transforms Shakespeare’s timeless tale of pride and defiance, loyalty and ambition, betrayal and revenge into graphic-novel format, packing it with visual drama and providing accessible notes. This artful edition — like an extraordinary stage performance — offers a striking new perspective on one of the most powerful and beloved tragedies in the English language. Incorporating excerpts from the bard’s own language, Gareth Hinds’s inventive format opens the experience of KING LEAR to students and fans of graphic literature.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Michael Jung
Having impressed readers with his graphic novel adaptation of Shakespeare's comedy The Merchant of Venice, writer/artist Gareth Hinds tries his hand at tragedy with Shakespeare's King Lear. All the general plot points are covered—irresponsible King Lear tries escaping his duties by splitting his kingdom among his three daughters, but instead disowns virtuous Cordelia and divides his land between deceitful Goneril and Regan, who help drive the king into madness and self-exile. Meanwhile, Edmund, the bastard son of the Earl of Gloucester, convinces his father that his legitimate son, Edgar, is plotting to usurp the earl, even as Edmund helps depose his father. As both exiled fathers roam the heath, it falls to their decent offspring to save them—although their efforts may not be enough. Hinds does a fabulous job in depicting the play's events through a multitude of artistic mediums, from grim watercolor illustrations of the manhunt for Edgar to abstract photo-negative paintings that represent Lear's growing madness. Hinds also makes efforts to use as many lines from Shakespeare's play as possible (drawing from both Quarto and Folio editions), although he does often shift many lines from iambic pentameter to prose and also shortens or eliminates certain sequences. While these alterations do make the play slightly easier to understand, most readers would probably benefit from a basic knowledge of the play's plot before reading the graphic novel. In general then, this graphic novel is better appreciated as a supplement to King Lear rather than an introduction. Reviewer: Michael Jung
Kirkus Reviews
From an artist known for his vivid graphic-novel reworkings of Beowulf (2007) and The Merchant of Venice (2008) comes this nuanced adaptation of King Lear. Employing a range of artistic styles that convey dramatic mood, the artist begins the play almost as a fairy tale, featuring bright, softly washed drawings. Once Cordelia is cast out and things sour, the images become darker and more compact. As the king descends into madness, the art becomes downright menacing, with Lear appearing as a jagged, ghostly figure drawn with white pencil on a dark background. These visual cues assist to a degree in deciphering the meaning of the Shakespearean language. Much of the text of the play remains intact, though in the backmatter Hinds dissects page by page what changes were made and why, offering scholarly interpretations that are both insightful and cleanly summative. The story doesn't leap from page, but this is a remarkably rendered and worthwhile treatment of the tragedy. (Graphic drama. 13 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781893131071
  • Publisher: Thecomic.Com
  • Publication date: 9/21/2007
  • Pages: 128

Meet the Author

Gareth Hinds says he sees the graphic novel form as "a perfect bridge between the printed word and theatrical performance." He is currently at work on a graphic-novel edition of Homer’s THE ODYSSEY. He lives in Watertown, Massachusetts.
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