Beautiful book covers: Hag-seed by Margaret Atwood

Beautiful book cover: Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

Hogarth Press has been publishing a collection of  retellings of Shakespeare’s works by contemporary authors, and this is the cover for Margaret Atwood’s Hag-seed, which is a retelling of The Tempest. That is a tale of revenge and arguably, the worst family ever, and Atwood takes those elements and weaves a tale about the artistic director of a festival who is ousted from his position, and then goes to find a job teaching in a prison… which seems the ideal place to be as he’s after his revenge on the people who ousted him.

Prospero insults Caliban by calling him a hag-seed in the play — Caliban is the child of a witch and the devil as it turns out and tries to rape Miranda, Prospero’s daughter. But what’s interesting, is some people also read his as a victim of Prospero’s tyranny. 

I think it’s Caliban on the cover there. Though, maybe Prospero?

I cannot for the life of me remember doing this play in school, and in South Africa, there were years when Shakespeare was in every moment of my high school career — not always a good thing when you’re just doing his tragedies and none of his comedies.

So, who has read this play? Is Caliban the good guy or a bad guy?

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