Monday, December 26, 2016

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

I received Hag-Seed as an Early Reviewer. It is a retelling of The Tempest by William Shakespeare. I tried reading The Tempest first because I thought it would help me understand Hag-Seed. I hadn't read any Shakespeare since high school, and it wasn't as easy as I remembered. So I abandoned The Tempest and started Hag-Seed.

Hag-Seed is the story of a man who has been usurped as artistic director of a theatre festival. He goes into a self-imposed exile and begins planning his vengeance on the men responsible for his downfall. After several years he gets a new job teaching prisoners Shakespeare, where he finally realizes how he can give retribution with a production of The Tempest.

I loved how the story kept me guessing about how you could really exact revenge on some people with a play. On its own it is an enjoyable story. After reading the book I went back to The Tempest and the play made more sense. Although the book helped me understand the play, reading the play after helped me appreciate a few of the details that I at first felt were a little tidy at the end of the book. I had way too much fun figuring out which character in the book was which character in the play.

I am thankful for The Hogarth Shakespeare project for keeping Shakespeare alive and loved.