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Romeo and Juliet (Comic Book Shakespeare) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – Februar 2003


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Author Naomi Alderman was full of praise for The Shakespeare Comic Book Series when she talked about the comic book approach to Shakespeare on BBC Radio 4's Open Book programme. Describing it as 'amazing', she went on to say that it was the perfect form in which to present his plays because 'It's really like a staging of Shakespeare - It has the depth of a movie so that you can have tiny things going on in the background that an observant reader will pick up on and you have the ability to read it slowly like a book so that unlike a film it doesn't race past.' Developing this theme, that the comic book presentation allowed the reader both to appreciate the text while observing the play's visual context, she went on to say, 'You can take it at your own pace and so I think for things like Shakespeare where you really want to be focusing on the words but at the same time seeing the staging - it's just the perfect form for that.' Naomi Alderman's enthusiasm has been reflected by huge numbers of teachers and parents. Linda Arthan, a special needs teacher from Shropshire wrote; 'The Shakespeare Comic Book Series is an absolute godsend for those of us wishing to bring to life the dramatic storylines of Shakespeare. They convert difficult language and concepts into user friendly modern English. The comic books are full of vivid illustrations. A great resource for pupils of all abilities.' Another teacher, Helen Reynolds of Devon was more concise. She said the comic books were 'the perfect introduction to Shakespeare!' Parents have been equally delighted. Mrs C Baker of Sheffield wrote, 'Both my boys used the comic books. As beginners to Shakespeare, they made their understanding and enjoyment so much greater. For boys who were not keen readers, the comic book format was an outstanding help. I can't speak highly enough of them.' As emphatic was Melissa Dolan of Surrey whose child was struggling with Shakespeare for exams. She said, 'You saved my daughter's life! You saved my sanity!' As a small publishing house, The Shakespeare Comic Book Co. has yet to receive adequate national press recognition. One notice has appeared. Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Education Editor, John Clare, was full of praise for the series. He wrote, 'I am rather taken by a new publishing venture called Comic Book Shakespeare. Each play is presented in the original text edited to preserve all the key speeches. These, accompanied by a translation into modern English, issue in bubbles from characters who are simply but attractively drawn - This is an intellectually respectable introduction - which is more than can be said for most computer-based attempts to make Shakespeare 'accessible.' The comic books have enjoyed some academic attention. Lieke Stelling of Utrecht University wrote a long and thoughtful review of A Midsummer Night's Dream. She concluded, 'Greaves does not attempt to jazz up the play with funny comments or drawings that call too much attention to themselves. It is precisely Greaves' straightforward and unpretentious approach, reflected in both the visual and textual translation, that makes the book a welcome addition to the existing range of Shakespeare comics. It is attractive for older pupils who want to be taken seriously in their study of Shakespeare, and a great source of inspiration for teachers.' Perhaps the last word should go to readers themselves. At the older end of the scale, GCSE student Mary Edwards of Buckinghamshire said, 'It made Romeo and Juliet really understandable and entertaining.' At the younger end, Sonni, aged 6, in Kent was unambiguous, writing, 'I really like the blood on the dagger and the red witch eyes.' Equally emphatic about the comic books was Ashley, also of Kent, who said of the comic books, 'They are brilliant and I couldn't stop reading them!'

Synopsis

"The Shakespeare Comic Book" version of "Romeo and Juliet" presents an edited version of Shakespeare's play, retaining approximately 50 per cent of his original text. Great care has been taken by a team of English specialists to ensure that key speeches have been preserved. Where cuts have been necessary, explanatory notes allow the reader to follow plot development. Shakespeare's text is accompanied by a modern English translation so that challenging vocabulary and unintelligible passages may be easily understood. This supportive dual text approach allows even comparatively inexperienced or reluctant readers to tackle Shakespeare with confidence. Less confident readers are also supported by the comic book's cartoon format. Fully illustrated throughout, the pictures help bring the drama to life and provide important visual clues as to characters (and their emotional temperature) setting and historical background. Though the condensed text, supporting translation and highly illustrated presentation may appeal to younger, more reluctant readers or those with special needs, the comic book is also of great value to serious students.

The key speeches permit thorough study, while the contemporary English ensures complete clarity of understanding. Used by schools at Key Stages 2-4, "The Comic Book Romeo and Juliet" is an ideal aid for home study - especially for those studying Shakespeare for exams at SATs, GCSE and higher levels.

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