Manga/Graphic Novel/Comic

Manga Classics: Macbeth by Shakespeare | NetGalley review | Booksmagick

What’s it about?

Well, Macbeth meets three witches who prophesy that he will become the king of Scotland. Macbeth, with his wife’s whispers in his ear, murders King Duncan and takes the throne. However, Macbeth is overtaken by guilt and paranoia afterwards.

The classic, adapted for manga by Crystal S. Chan with the original text left intact. Illustrations by Julien Choy.

What I think about it

I admit, I have always had a bit of trouble with Shakespeare and his works when it’s not differently adapted. I just couldn’t get through the entire play when I didn’t have the joy of a graphic novel, a stage adaptation or in this case a manga to provide visuals. Ok, not just Shakespeare, all of classical plays … Why would you read a boring ass text with your students when you can go watch the play or aid them with a graphic novel or manga? Recently I watched the (a bit modern but with the original text) adaptation of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ with David Tennant and Catherine Tate and I have to say it was much better than just reading the text in a booklet. Which is why I find these manga classics absolutely delightful!

I don’t think I have to talk much about the plot so I’ll dive straight in with what I liked and didn’t like. 🙂

My biggest problem with manga in general is that a lot of people just look the same and I can’t tell who is who. At least here we had a nice little sign with names pointing to the characters when they are introduced. If I had no idea who someone was I could always go back and check.

I really enjoyed this manga, though. I can imagine it being used at school to teach and maybe get more kids into Shakespeare and classics in general. It doesn’t always have to be dry and boring stuff, it can be a medium that might appeal more to kids. Classics can be fun! I’m not the biggest fan of classics because I often find them dull – yeah, I just said that – and boring. Macbeth is one of the few that I actually enjoy a lot! Not only the story itself but also the characters are interesting and the topic and descend into madness caused by paranoia and guilt. What does that say about me? 😀

I liked the way this manga was drawn, the female characters not sexualised and generally good to read.


A well-drawn good adaptation of a classic that makes it easier for students to read the entire thing. It certainly helped me! Mangas are not just some comics for kids, mangas are a great medium (I know, definitely NOT all of them :D) to make difficult texts more approachable.


  • Adapted by: Crystal S. Chan
  • Illustrator: Julien Choy
  • Pages: 300
  • For Ages: 14 and up
  • Publisher: UDON Entertainment
  • Release Date: September 1, 2018
  • ISBN: 978-1947808072

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