Thursday, March 27, 2014

Book Note: Romeo and Juliet in Asterix

Uderzo, Albert. Asterix and the Great Divide [Les Grand Fossee]. Trans. Anthea Bell and Derek Hockridge. London: Orion Books, 2001.

I have fifteen quick minutes before I need to depart for class.

That may be just enough time to mention the spin Asterix takes on Romeo and Juliet.

I found this while doing a search for something else entirely in my local library. Serendipity is often quite welcome.

The plot of the Asterix stories is always generally the same. There is, in the books, one village in Gaul that has never been conquered by the Romans. The stories are filled with bad puns and battles agains the Romans. I started reading them in French (that's where I learned my bad French puns), but I turned to English when availability of the French editions started to diminish.

In this book, a different village is divided (you can see the trench that runs through the village in the sample below). But—are you surprised?—a boy from one side of the village is in love with a girl from the other side.

The image below is where most of the Shakespeare makes its way in to the story. Click on it to enlarge it, and enjoy this re-creation of the balcony scene.

Links: The Official Web Site for Asterix.

Click below to purchase the book from
(and to support Bardfilm as you do so).

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Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
All material original to this blog is copyrighted: Copyright 2008-2016 (and into perpetuity thereafter) by Keith Jones.

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—The Tempest