Alternative Shakespeare



We are recycling this blogpost from last year in commemoration of Earth Day and Shakespeare's birthday! We also wanted to include two new Shakespear-inspired titles: Pop Sonnets: Shakespeare Spins on Your Favorite Songs and Haider, a Bollywood take on Hamlet

April 23rd is traditionally listed as the birthday of William Shakespeare, although no record of his birth remains. The Bard was born in Stratford-upon-Avon and was baptized on April 26th, 1564. He died on April 23rd, 1616, also in Stratford-upon-Avon. Thus, the month of April can rightly be said to represent both the birth and death of one of the pre-eminent writers in the English language.

The name Shakespeare might conjure visions of dusty literary tomes and mind-twisting interpretations of Elizabethan prose. However numerous works of Shakespeare have been translated into alternate formats. Try watching Richard III on DVD or reading Romeo and Juliet as a graphic novel or kickback and listen to The Tempest downloaded to your iPad.

If you were never blown away by Julius Caesar or Hamlet, come into the library and try some of these off-kilter tales dealing with The Bard in some of the most unlikely settings imaginable.

Kill Shakespeare by Conor McCreery – A series graphic novels where the heroes of Shakespeare’s plays face-off against the villains in an effort to kill an evil wizard who happens to be named William Shakespeare.





Shakespeare Saved My Life by Laura Bates – A true story of an English professor and a convicted murderer who met in a super max prison. It details the experience of teaching Shakespeare to a convicted felon and the surprising results.





Wicked Will by Bailey MacDonald – A mystery featuring a young woman, disguised as a boy, who must save her uncle from a murder charge. Her only ally is a local youth by the name of Will Shakespeare.





Or try Ian Doescher’s unique marriage of Shakespeare to Star Wars. A wonderful re-imagining of the Star Wars trilogy told in iambic pentameter.





~Chris Hu, Library Materials Services


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