Manga Classic Review: Macbeth

Macbeth by Crystal S. Chan

Macbeth
by Crystal S. Chan (Adaptor), Julien Choy (Illustrator), William ShakespeareMichael Barltrop (Modern English Adaptor)
4 out of 5 stars

Despite its popularity, MacBeth has never been one of my favorite Shakespearean plays. Too bloody and gory and gloomy for my taste. But if you like a dismal adventure with plenty of violence and mayhem, MacBeth has plenty of that! And this manga adaptation rings true with the moods and poetry of the original play. I like that the words of Shakespeare are modernized in a thoughtful way, and the artwork beautifully illustrates all the action and drama.

Each character has a memorable and striking appearance, and I found it especially interesting to see how MacBeth’s demeanor changed after he commits murder. His posture and facial expressions are different, and shadows gather around him in the darker shadows of the artwork. It’s a subtle but effective way of showing the development of his character, slowing falling into madness and despair.

The witches were especially frightening and creepy with all their dark arts and ugly meddling. Their faces were hairy and eerie, and it weirded me out! All of the paranormal scenes were chilling, and that is just how powerful the illustrations are.

I love the heroic characters, with their square jaws and clear eyes. Just from seeing their facial expressions, I could really imagine their dialogue being spoken in distinct voices.

I am so impressed with the way the text was modernized, and with the integrity and thoughtfulness that went into editing it. It really does feel like something that Shakespeare would have written if he had been alive today. There is no jarring modern slang to ruin the beauty of the lines. It feels like someone just translated the words from another language, and made it easy to understand for modern readers, but without losing any of the flavor and emotion of the original text.

I’m so in love with all the Manga Classics series, and this one is excellently done!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

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