Fans of the play will find this an intriguing adaptation. Hinds sets his version in modern dress and dramatically edits the text to the basics while keeping the Shakespearean flavor of the dialogue (increasingly as the book goes on). The coloring in shades of slate blue and pale gray gives it an antique patina that's counterbalanced by the way Hinds leaves construction lines visible. That makes it feel like reading someone's unpolished sketchbook, as though the characters were observed, not created. It's always a benefit to see Shakespeare acted out, to make the universal situations clear to the modern viewer, and that benefit extends to the graphic medium, especially when the characters have a sense of motion, as here. Some aspects of the original are still discomforting; Hinds is faithful to the play in its treatment of the bloodthirsty, money-hungry Shylock, and some readers may be put off by the inclusion of lines such as "you may be pleased to collect whatever usurious interest pleases your Jew heart." An author's note encourages further research on that matter and clarifies some of Hinds's creative decisions. (May)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
The Merchant of Veniceby Gareth Hinds
Here is the tale of young Bassanio, who, to win the love of fair Portia, entangles his dearest friend, Antonio, in a dangerous bargain with the moneylender Shylock. Only Bassanio’s heartfelt efforts — and/b>
With elegant, contemporary artwork and a faithful but succinct adaptation, this graphic novel casts a classic drama in a provocative new light.
Here is the tale of young Bassanio, who, to win the love of fair Portia, entangles his dearest friend, Antonio, in a dangerous bargain with the moneylender Shylock. Only Bassanio’s heartfelt efforts — and a clever intervention by Portia — will save Antonio from paying Shylock "a pound of flesh." Moody and mesmerizing, this graphic novel adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s more controversial plays boasts a chic modern cast, high drama, and all the dark, familiar beauty of Venice.
Gr 7 Up -Shakespearea's original play has been modernized and recast in a graphic format with characters drawn from posed models, creating a realistic feel. The cover depiction of a casket, embossed with images of the courtroom scene, sets the stage for the multiple layers of meaning embedded within this drama, and beautiful endpapers with the "fish" map of Venice foreshadow the opening scene. The careful use of color to signal scene changes and page headings helps readers follow the action and refer to the original play. As the authora's note explains, the decision to modernize the story creates visual and textual anachronisms. The men are attired in dress shirts and business suits. Portia wears an evening gown, even while traveling. Shylock sports a neatly trimmed beard and a slightly off-center bow tie, making it hard to envision him brandishing a knife in the courtroom. Even more jarring is the shift between modernized speech and the original Shakespearean language. For example, in Act I, Nerissa tells Portia, "Your father was a pretty sharp guy." In contrast, Nerissa announces in Act II, "My lord and lady, we that have stood by and seen our wishes prosper wish you joy." Despite the inconsistency, readers looking for an accessible introduction to the plot, major characters, and themes of The Merchant of Venice will enjoy this visually appealing book.-Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
- Candlewick Press
- Publication date:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.90(w) x 10.50(h) x 0.50(d)
- Age Range:
- 12 - 17 Years
Meet the Author
Gareth Hinds is the creator of BEOWULF and other graphic novels based on classic works. Of THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, he says, "I find the fairy-tale symbolism and ethical dilemmas of this play compelling, and I wanted to use the graphic novel form to present them to a modern audience." He lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.
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