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Review: The Zoo Does Shakespeare

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imageIn late September of this year, First Second Books will be releasing The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth by Ian Lendler.

In Stratford Zoo, the animals stage productions of The Bard’s works, and in this graphic novel, they do the play that shall not be named.

Lendler’s take is cute. The play is cleansed of most of its adult situations and themes, and instead the serious elements of the play are turned for a bit of wit. This could be a good introduction to the play for an elementary or middle school student.

There are a handful of jokes that rely on having knowledge of the original, but mostly Stratford Zoo is devoid of any deeper understanding of the play. I had hoped there would be more nuance and interpretation in the transposition to a zoo, but animal choices seem more or less arbitrary–MacDuff is a hyena and Macbeth a lion.

All in all, this was a fun if shallow read suitable for a younger audience without too many expectations of Shakespeare.



Author: Erin Perry

I'm a high school English teacher specializing in AP Literature and Film Analysis. I'm interested in most things geeky, including superheroes, vampires, zombies, teen culture, postmodern philosophy, pop culture analysis, and combinations of the aforementioned. Follow me on Twitter @eriuperry.

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