Friday, July 24, 2015

Book Note: Shakespeare Cats

Herbert, Susan. Shakespeare Cats. Boston: Bulfinch Press, 1995.

The Shakespeare-related material that crosses my path ranges from the ridiculous to the sublime.

Occasionally—just occasionally—something fits both categories.

Susan Herbert has illustrated a collection of Shakespeare cats, and I suppose it's not sillier than King Lear with Sheep.

And it's certainly less silly than the "kittens inspired by kittens"-inspired piece entitled "Shakespeare: Inspired by Shakespeare" (for which, q.v.).

The image above is Ophelia about to claw her way up a tree—a willow, I believe—from which she will plunge to a watery grave; and I imagine that the experience, for an animal that hates water already, is all the more horrific.

I'm providing a few more sample images. Herbert has arranged them with quotations from the plays on facing pages. Click on the images to enlarge them.

Hamlet. I appreciate the shape of this Yorick's skull.

King Lear. Later, he'll say "Yowl, yowl, yowl."

Macbeth. "Will all great Neptune's tongue lick this blood / Clean from my paw?"

Twelfth Night: Proving that everyone, even cats, looks ridiculous in yellow cross-gartered stockings.

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E. Meritus Prauf said...

I prefer the cat in the adage to all this pussyfooting around.

kj said...

I was surprised that Tybalt—"Prince of Cats"—didn't make it in the volume.


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.
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