Gareth Hinds’ Romeo and Juliet, based on the play by William Shakespeare, whisks us off into his version of Shakespeare’s era Verona, in this lively graphic novel adaptation of William Shakespeare’s timeless classic. As someone who has read a Shakespeare play in its entirety, I found the colorful panels, drawn by Gareth Hinds’ himself, a nice reprieve for the eyes as I transitioned from box to box of archaic english text. As someone who has never read Romeo and Juliet I found it relatively easy and entertaining to read this story in its graphic novel form. It was much simpler to read it this way than as a play script. The only “New” aspect that this version provides the reader, since Hinds’ uses the original text, is the artwork. I personally enjoyed the artwork, it was not the greatest that I’ve ever seen in a graphic novel, but it was good.
Hinds’ Closes out his work with an Author’s Note, here he describes how he tackled the challenge of adapting Shakespeare’s work into a Graphic Novel. He, of course, has to take liberties on his detailing of the setting, since there was no visual representation of Verona at the time. It is his other stylistical choices that I find more interesting. For example, he makes the Montagues a Black family, and the Capulets an Indian family, in an effort to show that this is a universal story. He also changes the way that the younger characters dress, in an effort to symbolically show that they are a rebellious generation. He does this so all the themes would make sense to the modern reader. He also took some liberties with the text, opting to use no footnotes, and sometimes replacing older, no longer used words, for modern ones, All for the sake of the flow. In the end, I can see how Hinds had to make some changes, not only because he was transferring the play to a new medium, but because he had to reach a wider, and modern audience.
Word Count: 392