Shakespeare's classic play of deception, intrigue, and murder is reinventedin the Japanese manga style. Set on a vast ringworld encircling a sun, Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth, scheme and plot their way to power, only to be undone by their own deadly plans. Artist Tony Tamai's unique vision and style breathe new life into a captivating classic.
Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's nastier tragedies. Macbeth murders his liege in his sleep in order to become king, and then enacts a series of bloody deeds that culminate in his own violent death. This graphic novel is set on another planet, "a combination of the settings of Larry Niven's Ringworld and Anne McCaffrey's Pern novels." Unfortunately, there are places where the SF setting simply does not work. The characters live in Scotland (the planet, maybe?); refer to the dragons they ride as horses; and--despite possessing advanced technology--live in castles under a form of medieval feudalism. There are other issues: when the three witches hail Macbeth for the first time, the line "Hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter" is not in the text. Since this is one of the most important lines in the play, its omission is regrettable. The artwork is sketchy, and at times looks like it was done with a computer (some characters/images are obviously cut and pasted onto a setting). This version of Macbeth certainly has its flaws. However, the graphic novel's exotic setting may attract readers who would otherwise skip the play. Macbeth contains violence, and is an optional purchase for libraries with graphic novel collections. KLIATT Codes: JSA--Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2005, Penguin, Puffin Graphics, 176p. illus., Ages 12 to adult.