Comme il vous plaira résumé

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In thé past, Shakespeare has not been made accessible venir young people in Britain. Retellings need to be checked out as année introduction to thé original, a reanimation, not oui a desecration. Cette is no easy to retell the plays. Shakespeare’s monde Theatre proved Marcia Williams comment the public interacted with the plays and therefore comment to recreate them passant par involving the reader in a similar way. The many layers of a comic strip mirror auto elements ns a theatrical production. Thé reader is the audience and participates in the performance. The humour strip allows each child venir respond in a means that suits him jaune her and get auto most from their involvement.

Pendant longtemps das jeunes anglais n’ont pas vraiment eu impliqué à Shakespeare. Une réécriture, ns adaptation, devrait se concevoir prendre plaisir une introduction à l’original, une réanimation, et ne sont pas pas ns profanation. Il n’est pas aisément d’adapter esquive pièces aux Shakespeare. Grâce à Théâtre du Globe jusquà Londres, Marcia Williams a pu découvrir comment? ou quoi le public réagissait du pièces, ce qui il a permis de les recréer en impliquant ns lecteur ns la même façon. Das différents niveaux d’une ruban dessinée correspondre aux article d’une représentant théâtrale. Ns lecteur à faire partie du auditeur et participe for représentation. La banda dessinée invite chaque enfant jusquà réagir jusqu’à sa manière et à profiter à maximum de son expérience ns lecture.

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adaptation, chic et Cléopâtre, profitez-en il amie plaira, classique littéraires, Lamb Charles rang Mary, réécritures aux Shakespeare, Richard III, roméo et Juliette, Shakespeare convoque la jeunesse, Théâtre de Globe

Keywords :

Antony et Cleopatra, oui You prefer It, manga strips, globe Theatre, Lamb Charles and Mary, retelling thé classics, retelling Shakespeare’s plays, Shakespeare and young people, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet
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1It appears to je that parce que le too long, in Britain, there has been a conspiracy to keep Shakespeare from jeune people. We may have gone beyond the days when only well-educated les gars were permitted a height at Shakespeare marqué there is encore a feeling among many that cette is too difficult and only suitable parce que le exam syllabuses. As soon as I life went à see a Shakespeare play, ma teacher made ce such a big deal that ns was precise sick conditions météorologiques the théâtre floor native nerves. After that cette was years avant I wanted to let Shakespeare into my life again – what a waste!

2There is also a id that when you retell Shakespeare’s plays parce que le the young you diminish the plays or dumb them down. Perhaps an especially when amie retell lock in comic-strip form. Mien aim has never been à replace a Shakespeare play, or even venir recreate ce in its entirety, cible to kindle a jeune person’s attention in Shakespeare et to acte as a stepping rock to the Bard. Cette is unpreventable that when tu retell any story, cette will lose much indigenous its original language and some de its magic. However, i don’t think this have to be seen oui a deterrent. Retellings can give a new life to writings for et of another era. I see retelling auto plays du Shakespeare much like the cartoonist Gerald Scarfe sees illustration a caricature. Asked how hey creates a caricature et yet retains a likeness to thé person, hey says amie should conçu the visage to be a piece of chewing gum: you can stretch it this way and that, marqué there is always a breaking point; si you don’t le respect that et break thé chewing gum, amie will lose auto likeness. This is much how I check out retelling standard tales. If je stretch the gum too tarif from that original et it breaks, then I have lost la communication with Shakespeare and his plays. I être no plus long a stepping rock to the Bard, marqué a boulder in auto way. On the différent hand, si I à faire not create mien own vision ns the play, et bring with cette my knowledge du writing and creating bande dessinée strips parce que le a younger audience, then I aller Shakespeare a disservice de not giving cette fresh life et vigour. So, that’s the theory, cible of arttaserse the path of creativity never ever runs smoothly!

3Working nous Shakespeare rotate out à be very, very different indigenous working on other classics. My initiale attempts venir recreate auto plays were not auspicious. Pour a start, my editor to be firmly against je retelling Shakespeare’s plays.

“You don’t mess with the Great Bard,” to be her life reaction to my suggestion.

When the failed to dissuade me et I put in autre request, ce was: “You aller know that no everyone likes manga strips?”

4In retrospect i should perhaps ont listened to sa more or at the very least road-tested the idea du creating comic-strip versions de the plays avant persuading elle to agree. Cible road-testing seulement tends to confirm auto doubts that ns inevitably oui about my ability to create any book. Soja when cette came à retelling Shakespeare’s plays ns did what i always do et flung myself in at the deep end et prayed. Je soon learned that ma editor to be right, but only in part... I am sure conditions météorologiques should it is in meddling with the Bard, but maybe not quite ont lightly as we meddle with divers writers. This, je think, is not seulement un because there are tarif more devotees de Shakespeare than any est différent author – et you feeling that they all have your beady eyes conditions météorologiques you – marqué also because he can be sauce soja very slippery! His plots, his characterization, his humour, his language et even his stage directions toutes les personnes demand thorough attention.

1 Charles et Mary Lamb, Tales native Shakespeare, londres & nouveau York, projet Dent, 1975.

5I started par trying à recreate Romeo and Juliet, a play ns thought i knew quite well. Je quickly found that over there is a huge difference in between ‘knowing’ pour your own enjoyment and ‘knowing’ to give enjoyment venir others. Ns was lugged up conditions météorologiques Charles et Mary Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare.1 over there is much to le respect in this retellings and I être loath à criticize them ont they were ns their time, but for moi they constantly failed in quel should be your most de nombreux task: to leave me, et I suspect other young readers, feeling excited about Shakespeare. It also has année amazingly sexist introduction passant par Charles Lamb, who doesn’t think about that a girl might read Shakespeare parce que le herself, marqué suggests to the “young masculine reader” that hey might like à share auto more suitable passages with his sister!

6Anyway, i feel that Lamb’s Tales tends to follow Shakespeare under some du his much more confusing plot lines, losing the reader nous the way. There is something really flat et humourless around them and they give ne sont pas sense ns theatre, magic, language or ns Shakespeare’s wonderfully make characters. They likewise fail à make the connections between Shakespeare et young people, and there are sauce soja many of these: his incredibly visual language, his bawdy, often over-the-top humour, thé universal et timeless reprendre between parents and children, his witches, magic, cross-dressing et general madness.

7However, my first retelling ns Romeo et Juliet, if not similar à Lamb’s, was equally hopeless, although cette was at least addressed venir both boys and girls. I tried to recreate auto play as a whole and it ended up being a confusion of au sens propre pictures with mien own text telling the story and my own message in the speech bubbles. Ns remember act this also now, as it felt sauce soja wrong: ce was as though ns was placing words right into Shakespeare’s mouth ˗ quite hopeless! Yet understanding something is wrong does not mean that you automatically know how to put it right.

8I foolishly turned to ma editor à la help. No surprisingly, elle was unsympathetic.

“Well,” elle said, “you never ever expected cette to be easy did you, Marcia?”

9I think je might oui given increase at that mettre en ordre but for a stroke ns luck: thé rebuilding de Shakespeare’s monde Theatre nous the banks de the Thames was underway. Although ce wasn’t open à la performances, you could have a guided tour with année actor who enthusiasm pour the Tudor theatre and ability to recreate its environment in auto mind’s eye to be infectious.

10Even though the original Globe was a theatre de professionals, it had its root in medieval pageants et in thé religious dramas that Shakespeare would oui seen nous the streets as a boy. The globe was still partly open to the elements and still obtained many principles from this travelling players – numerous performances, parce que le instance, ended with a jig, accompanied by a piper and a hobby-horse or with a short farce nous some subject theme.

11The audiences at the early monde probably behaved much oui though they were toujours watching a rue performance. A trumpeter would blow the life Sounding, warning the public that the players were ready. At auto Third sounding the jouer would begin, cible the public was no hushed! They joined in the actors’ lines, heckled, bought, ate, threw things, courted, pickpocketed et generally involved in rue activities. Ce seemed to me that in this small circular space the public became a part de the performance.2

12Of course some ns this was already known à me, as I matin sure cette is à you, marqué actually seeing thé venue and hearing about it on site made toutes les personnes the difference. It gave moi that spark of extinction that ns needed to volonté the project off the ground. Stand in the space and imagining Shakespeare and the monsieur Chamberlain’s masculin performing over there was an eye-opener à me: thé hustle et bustle du Tudor street life encapsulated in this small area! At last ns had found auto door v which i could enter et create mien own retellings. Ns had been right à hesitate over my sapin attempts, because this was not around recreating stories marqué recreating plays. I now had a structure from which à build thé ‘performances’ that je was determined venir try and create nous the page.

13First de all, the cover de the livre becomes auto theatre itself with thé musicians at auto bottom calling amie in à the performance (Figure 1).


Figure 1: Marcia Williams, Bravo, Mr. William Shakespeare! (cover)

Walker livres Ltd, 2009.

Author’s own book reproduced v permission. All rights reserved.

14Then, you open thé book and find a flag is flying et the sapin trumpet has sounded: you’d meilleur hurry, the famous globe Theatre is putting on a play! tu look around à see if the boss will certainly notice you leaving work. Cible you shouldn’t have worried, because when you join the throng du people handling to thé theatre your boss is currently there – and isn’t the our good queen Bess? fragile move elle taking sa ferret à la there is bound venir be année abundance du fleas amongst auto audience! (Figure 2)


Figure 2: Marcia Williams, Bravo, Mr. Shakespeare! (title page)

Walker livre Ltd, 2009.

Author’s own livre reproduced with permission. All rights reserved.

15You turn auto page et you ont passed through the door and into auto Globe. Here a new world awaits you. Amie pay your penny si you’re a groundling, jaune your tuppence si you’re a toff, et get handed a playbill. Hurrah, a new season of plays is gift presented and you are delighted à see the life play is As amie Like It, set in auto magical forest of Arden. Elle prepare you yourself for année afternoon de fun and laughter. Then tu notice the at thé bottom of the playbill elle are asked for not to throw difficult objects at auto actors, haricot de soja you discard your turnips and nuts et buy part over-ripe plums from a vendor, concéder a pie pour yourself et yet un autre beer. Perfect, you’re prêt to turn auto page, to where the performance is about à begin. (Figure 3)


Figure 3: Marcia Williams, Bravo, Mr. William Shakespeare! (As amie Like It)

Walker livres Ltd, 2009.

Author’s own book reproduced with permission. Toutes les personnes rights reserved.

16As the play starts, amie look around. Si you’re a toff, amie look under into thé courtyard et wish the wind would change because those stinkards down there do truly stink! Ugh, et is that a rat you see scuttling in between those filthy knaves? but you swill your wine and soon elle are lost in Shakespeare’s world. Si you’re a groundling, elle jostle à la position, whack a pass pickpocket and hurl your rotten plum at fredigick when hey banishes Rosalind from the court. Then you spot grandfather Shakespeare himself in the audience, cheering nous the performers et refining your speeches parce que le the next performance. Has cette a quill conditions météorologiques him? can you comprendre his autograph?

17For this performance of As tu Like it the players are greatly in tones of yellow and green and the audience are toutes les personnes in reds and pinks. This is à make a clear distinction between the two à la the benefits of ma readers. The jouer is thé thing – sauce soja visually it should show up to pavillon out. Auto audience action as a frame pour the many important quartier général content.

18The tradition of comic strip is not as strong in England as it is in France. Je was no allowed to read comics oui a child due to the fact that my mère considered them an abomination, full ns American slang, mauvais English and inappropriate violence. Ironically, this is probably why ns create humour strips now. Anyway, in ma experience young personnes in England are far more adept at reading humour strips than adults are. It seems venir be a skill et passion elle put to one side in adulthood. Many adults room inclined à dismiss the comic strip ont simplistic, yet when they try to read it, they space unable venir move in between its different and often complex layers. Children, from a very jeune age, seem to have little trouble through this, cible even so it is de nombreux that auto layout is clear and consistent soja that readers always savoir where they room in the conceit. Mien aim is to make fémur accessible et not à confuse – je leave confusion to Shakespeare!

19Yet, to answer those who feel that de making Shakespeare accessible venir young people you are dumbing the down, je would say that there room some retellings i m sorry might faire that, marqué there are also others which are rich and multi-layered. Je believe that comic strip is an ideal way venir retell a play, as it works on many levels and its dramatic heureux is very closely aligned to the theatre; the bande dessinée strips are scenes on a page. Every theatrical performance is a la coopération between auto director, thé actors, auto set et costume developers and, du course, thé audience. In much auto same way, the different great a comic strip has collaborate through each divers to develop a dramatic performance. A feeling of drama is created de the interaction between auto audience, that sit in auto borders of the page, the histoire text, auto speech bubbles, et the pictures.

20They likewise offer a variety de options parce que le the child, just ont the théâtre does. The less confident readers will uncover a an are that suits them and the an ext confident readers will weave their means through auto multiple layers: the visual information in the henchmen picture boxes; the histoire plot in thé text boxes; Shakespeare’s own words in auto bubble text. Or the leader can conçu him- or herself oui part ns the audience. Do his/her very own bawdy comments jaune react to theirs. Though thé audience’s comments are mainly designed à amuse and reflect auto noisy behaviour of Elizabethan audiences, I aller also usage them à explain complicated words jaune ideas. And if over there is a particularly foncé or sauvagement act, ns may get one de the public to fissuré a joke to lighten auto moment. Most importantly, thé reader bring his or elle own imagination to thé performance. Just as in any puissance you discover your very own space et your own meaning.

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21When je visit schools ns find a large variety of responses to thé book. There space those that are automatically attracted à using it oui a basis pour their very own dramatic performances. There are those who become obsessed with thé audience and their comments, et others who shed themselves in thé visual detail. Possibly one of the most lucrative reactions to be that of a young jeune with dyslexia. Ns knew hey couldn’t read, yet he put up his hand et asked if hey could read the play, which was Julius Caesar, to thé rest of his class. Ma heart let go a beat ont I imagined a long, agonizing process of him stumbling over words and his classmates losing toutes les personnes interest in Shakespeare’s plays, now et forever. However, i didn’t want to puncture his enthusiasm so i had à let him stand up and give cette a go. That boy was about nine year old et could hardly read a word, marqué was he visually literate! hey read the pictures with together dramatic result that the whole class was mesmerized et spontaneously applauded at auto end.

22As Cassius says in thé play:

How plenty of ages henceShall this our lofty scene be acted o’er,In claims unborn et accents yet unknown!3

23In the suivant play in the book, Antony et Cleopatra, over there is a totally nouveau set of colours (Figure 4) and in Richard III, i m sorry follows, de nouveau palette still (Figure 5).


Figure 4: Marcia Williams, Bravo, Mr. Williams Shakespeare! (Antony and Cleopatra)

Walker livre Ltd, 2009.

Author’s own book reproduced through permission. Toutes les personnes rights reserved.


Figure 5: Marcia Williams, Bravo, Mr. William Shakespeare! (Richard III)

Walker books Ltd, 2009.

Author’s own book reproduced through permission. Toutes les personnes rights reserved.

24This is à la several reasons: thé colours were chosen à reflect auto setting, atmosphere and style ns the play and so give auto reader yet un autre layer du information. Cible perhaps more importantly, i also observed this ont a way de achieving a pause, année imaginary curtain avant the playgoer city hall the next play. Couple of adults, permit alone kids would want venir sit with two of Shakespeare’s plays back venir back, so i wanted the colours à work oui a visuellement check. Stop, pause, think: tu are now entering a new world, are you ready? Maybe elle want to aller back and visit the une you’ve seul left jaune spend temps absorbing auto last play antérieur à moving on to thé next. Ns didn’t want auto different performances to feel like various chapters of the exact same story. Over there is non denying that every phat is massively condensed, but the livre is still not designed à be raced through as a whole. Each phat is haricot de soja different, cette is much more than a nouveau chapter – ce is a new world.

25When ns was at school, i desperately wanted à become an actor. One of my worst childhood memory is of being cast ont Peter Quince and not Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Once i left school i never pursued a career in the theatre but, with recreating these plays, i feel I oui lived out my dream, à la in a way je was actor, director, set et costume designer.

26So, in thé end, even if it is my audience is the town hall Richard III, King Lear, Much Ado around Nothing, or Twelfth Night, ce is up venir them à decide whether the performance works. Ns would like thé readers à feel as though they are members de the audience, toff jaune stinkard! That having actually paid their entrance fees they deserve to engage in heckling, cheering et generally get involved in each performance. Perhaps then, when they importer the chanceux to see a Shakespeare play nous stage, they will certainly be full ns anticipation et think, like Lorenzo in The Merchant ns Venice, “Here will we sit, and let thé sounds of music / Creep in our ears” (5.1.55˗56).

27Or, at thé very least, litter a ripe plum or two!

Marcia Williams, Tales indigenous Shakespeare – auto Bard’s best Plays, walker Books, 2015.

---, Tales from Shakespeare, walker Books, 2014.

---, The Marvellous Plays ns Mr. William Shakespeare, pedestrian Books, 2014.

---, Les Misérables par Victor Hugo, walker Books, 2014.

---, Lizzy Bennet’s journal intime – Inspired passant par Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, pedestrian Books, 2013.

---, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, pedestrian Books, 2007.

---, Oliver Twist et Other great Dickens Stories, walker Books, 2002.

---, Bravo, Mr. William Shakespeare!, pedestrian Books, 2000.

---, Mr. Williams Shakespeare’s Plays, walker Books, 1999.


1 Charles et Mary Lamb, Tales indigenous Shakespeare, londres & new York, jamais Dent, 1975.

2 On how to depict the original Globe et Elizabethan theatre, see à la instance auto illustrated livre by Aliki, William Shakespeare & thé Globe, London, Harper Collins, 1999; likewise see C.W. Hodges, Enter auto Whole Army. A photographic Study du Shakespearean Staging 1576-1616, Cambridge, Cambridge college Press, 1999.

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3 williams Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, 3.1.111˗113, in The complete Works du William Shakespeare, Glasgow & nouveau York, Oxford college Press, 1945. Further references will certainly be à this edition.

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Marcia Williams, «YOU DON’T chaos WITH thé GREAT BARD!You never ever expected it to be simple did you, Marcia?», Actes des congrès ns la entreprise française Shakespeare , 34|2016, endroit en la gestion le 10 mars 2016, consultant le 29 novembre 2021. URL:; DOI: