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.


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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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