Friday, May 10, 2024

Shakespeare in FoxTrot's Am I a Mutant or What!

Amend, Bill. Am I a Mutant or What!. Kansas City: Andrews McMeel, 2004.

Welcome back to FoxTrot Friday!

Last time, we had a more or less tangential Shakespeare comic (for which, q.v.). I suppose Who's Up For Some Bonding? had other concerns.

But Am I a Mutant or What! gives us more direct Shakespeare content.

In our first comic, Peter is faced with a particularly dreaded (and, I would argue, dreadful) essay prompt. I've had exam questions like this: "Hamlet and Macbeth: Discuss," and they always made me forget everything I ever knew and then faint dead away. Here's Peter's attempt at an answer:

With a prompt like that, I think the teacher will get a lot of Peteresque answers. If I were to ask the question, I would give my students a lot more to hang their hat on. For example, I might recall two specific female characters in the two plays, provide a specific quote or action from each, mention something we'd discussed in class, and then ask them to compare and contrast those elements. I'd also give (as I always do) a second option.

The frame at the head of this post comes from another Peter-related, Shakespeare-related comic. Now Peter's reading Julius Caesar

Kudos to Peter's teacher and his school's curriculum decisions! Students in Peter's grade are getting to study three Shakespeare plays instead of the usual one . . . or part of one . . . or part of a film of one. Note: It's possible that Peter is reading Julius Caesar on his own—but his characterization over the years makes that highly unlikely.

Finally, Jason and Marcus provide an allusion to Julius Caesar. Perhaps they picked it up from Peter. In any case, Paige assumes that their (to her) misquotation indicates their ignorance of Shakespeare:

As it turns out, they knew exactly what they were doing—and Jason even throws in a Hamlet-related pun.

I'm eager to see where Bill Amend takes us next, Shakespeare-wise.

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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 2008-2039 (and into perpetuity thereafter) by Keith Jones.

The very instant that I saw you did / My heart fly to your service; there resides, / To make me slave to it; and, for your sake, / Am I this patient [b]log-man.

—The Tempest