WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE'S MACBETH by Bruce--Adapt. Coville

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE'S MACBETH

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Tempting readers into this dramatic retelling, the introduction calls this a ""horrific tale of witches, murder, ghosts and revenge."" Coville (William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night 'S Dream, 1996, etc.) repeats most of the play's famous phrases (condensing the ""Double double, toil and trouble"" incantation to six lines) and expertly captures the original's lurid supernatural manifestations and dark tone. Lady Macbeth's motives for murdering Duncan are never clear, and the porter's scene--along with some others--is dropped, so the plotting may be even patchier than Shakespeare's; still, as with Coville's previous adaptations of Shakespeare, children unfamiliar with the original will get a good idea of what awaits them. Kelley gives the entire cast a ghostly look in his shadowy, atmospheric paintings; except for the deliciously hideous Weird Sisters, figures are erect and dignified, generally posed at rest with eyes downcast or directed away from the viewer--and despite all the play's gory deeds, there is no blood to be seen. A volume for those who are certain that this kind of adaptation--which reduces an intense psychological study to a slim story of multiple murders--will not prejudice children against future encounters with the Bard.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0803718993
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Dial