Mothello: A High Flying Introduction to Shakespeare’s Othello (Phakespeare’s Animal Shakespeare for Children Series)
Phakespeare’s Productions (2008)
Reviewed by Neha Kashmiri (age 14) for Reader Views 8/08)
“Phakespeare’s Mothello” is an adaptation of Othello in animal form. In this case Mothello and the others are butterflies.
Dilan MacHardy gives a back-story to Mothello to attempt to explain why he did what he did. The story starts with simple English and gradually changes to the full weight of the Shakespearean text. It has many of the original quotations in the book and once in a while an illustration of the butterflies show up.
Some names have been changed but they’re alike enough for the reader to recognize them. Certain items’ names have been changed as well. Handkerchief changes to petals, beards can be referred to as antennas and the Turks become Ants.
I love Othello, it’s my favorite tragedy and I feel that Dilan MacHardy was true to the work, the story line is basically the same. It simplifies the dialogue and expresses the emotions of the characters much more clearly. It is sometimes awkward combining the overly-simplicity of the beginning words to changing to the-almost-exact words of Shakespeare. It still has the mature themes of infidelity, murder, and war so it’s more or less for mature kids. If you’re struggling with Shakespeare’s Othello try “Phakespeare’s Mothello.” And if it’s his other works bothering you try Romeow and Julicat, King Deer and Lamblet — coming soon with even more to follow.