Friday, May 8, 2009

No Fear Shakespeare

I have a confession to make. I've never read much Shakespeare, probably because I never "had to" for a class. However, I've been really enjoying this book, No Fear Shakespeare: Hamlet. It has the whole of Shakespeare's original text, but side by side with a modern paraphrase. For instance, the original gives us,
What art thou that usurp'st this time of night
Together with that fair and warlike form
In which the majesty of buried Denmark
Did sometimes march? By heaven, I charge thee, speak
Beautiful language, but -- Huh? The translation re-words that,
What are you, that you walk out so late at night, looking like the dead kind of Denmark when he dressed for battle? By God, I order you to speak.
This book is available online as well, but I still prefer reading real books made of paper that I can hold in my hands. I've been reading a page of the modern and then the original, while at the same time enjoying the book below.

The same publisher has put out a companion graphic novel. It really is very good. The artist Neil Babra created the adaptation. Below is one page that describes the lines shown above.

The books are very reasonable in price - six bucks for the translation book and ten bucks for the graphic novel. I'd highly recommend them.

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