As I finished reading this issue, I could not help but wonder if this will end a tragedy or a comedy. With Shakespearean drama, tragedies end in death and comedies end in marriage. Right now, I cannot sense how this will conclude, which is a good thing. It adds to the anticipation.
In my review of issue #7, I predicted that this issue would include two acts from the “play within a play.” Alas, I was mistaken. So in all fairness I feel compelled to point out that this is a flaw in the comic. There should have been five acts, in my humble opinion. But, in the grand scheme, it is a minor flaw and one that I can easily overlook.
This installment of the tale has a great role reversal. Hamlet is on a balcony in the evening and it is Juliet who comes to him, climbing the lattice to join Hamlet on the balcony in an amorous embrace. The scene works really well, especially the way the panels switch back and forth between the faces of the two lovers, adding intensity and passion which culminates in a beautiful full-page illustration.
There is a great passage, spoken by Othello, which is worth quoting:
Look at the people who have traveled here, prepared to risk their lives because of their belief in what Shakespeare represents. The Spirit of Shakespeare. It matters not what you find, but that you went to support that spirit.
I love this quote. For me, Shakespeare represents the paragon to which humanity should strive. The spirit of Shakespeare is the spirit of humanity. It is the ideal that we all must keep in mind. I firmly believe that if every person took the time to read Shakespeare’s works and see them performed, that our world would be a better place. Everyone will find something different in a Shakespeare play; what matters is that people experience them.
Anyway, in classic comic-book fashion, this issue ends with a cliffhanger. Hamlet, Iago, and Falstaff have set out on the final part of the journey to find Shakespeare. As they near their destination, they are confronted by men in armor, one of whom identifies himself as none other than Romeo Montague. I foresee a tangled love triangle unfolding.
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