Wow – what a combination – Atwood and Shakespeare. One, as you will know, I have been a fan of for a very long time, and one I only discovered this year when I read the ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’.
For me – and I suspect it is open to interpretation – Hag-Seed is not a simple retelling of The Tempest. It seems to be so much more than that. In fact, believe it is that clever technique of a play within a play. A technique that Shakespeare himself was a fan of.
You begin thinking that Felix just wants his revenge for losing his job, and possibly the loss of his wife and daughter, BUT you end through subtle hints wondering if he in fact believes he is the great sorcerer Propspero. However, throughout his antics does he become more like Caliban than he cares to admit or aware enough to realise?
I do not want to walk you through the novel because that will spoil the enjoyment for anyone who wants to pick it up (go on, you know you want to!). All I will say is it has all of Atwood’s skill for storytelling, and she does make the tale her own. You do not need to be a fan of the Bard to pick this novel up – it is almost irrelevant with the dark, humourous storytelling that Margaret Atwood has offered.
So, are there any retellings (of anything, by anyone) you think I should try?