William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream by Nel YomtovIllustrated by Berenice Muniz
Published on July 1, 2011 by Capstone
Genres: Comics, Fantasy, Graphic Novel, Young Adult
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Witness a tale of love, fairies, and betrayal in this classic tale retold in graphic-novel format. Theseus, duke of Athens is preparing for his marriage when Hermia, and her father, Egeus, burst into his court and beg for Theseus's judgment regarding whom Hermia, Egeus's daughter, should marry. Theseus tells Hermia she must marry Demetrius, even though she really loves Lysander. At nightfall, the two young lovers run off to the forest to be married in secret. However, Demetrius discovers their deception and charges into the forest, searching for his bride-to-be. Little do any of them know, a band of magical fairies lives in this forest, and they have other plans for these lovestruck humans.
I absolutely picked this graphic novel up on a whim while shelving books one day. I’m a huge fan of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (it’s probably my favorite Shakespeare play) so I thought it’d be fun to read it in comic format.
This book was shelved for middle grade readers but based on the illustrations and reading level of the text, I’d place it more in young adult. It keeps to the original tale fairly well in terms of plot points but I think it lacked the same humor the play has, and the reason I enjoy it so much. There are a handful of lines from the play included in this re-telling though not enough for my tastes.
If you wanted to get an idea of what happens in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, this would be a good resource. The images are vivid though not as fitting for the nature of the play, for me at least, but they would be good for students who want to gain a basic understanding of the major points. But I wouldn’t go to this graphic novel for a representation of Shakespeare’s work in terms of “accuracy” (well, as accurate as a comic re-telling of a play can be).
It’s a short read and if you are looking to learn about the plot of the play, it’s a quick way to do so (thing the Cliffnotes version with pictures). For fans of the original A Midsummer Night’s Dream, you’re likely to be disappointed as this graphic novel just didn’t capture the magic and humor.