Thoughts: Use of Shakespeare’s characters in The Iron King


Vampire Book Club Group ReadIn The Iron King, Julie Kagawa adopts classic literary characters from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, fashioning the details of their lives in the time since the famous play.

From our review:

…many of the court faeries we meet in The Iron King are from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Kagawa does this purposefully and embeds the reasoning smoothly into the story. More often we see young adult novels name-check classic works — whether to inspire young readers or to please old lit professors is tough to say – but the use of characters from A Midsummer Night’s Dream is pivotal to the plot and the world of the Iron Fey series. Remembrance of faeries is what sustains them. Being in a venerable classic has made these faeries near immortal.

While others have thrown in classic works without plot-driven purpose — just think back to the earlier House of Night novels or the weaving of Wuthering Heights into Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga — Kagawa’s use of centuries-old literary characters is key to the Iron Fey world.

Your Turn:

  • How did you feel about seeing characters you read in your high school drama and lit classes brought back to life?
  • Are you OK with authors utilizing famous characters like this?
  • Would it be acceptable if it wasn’t pivotal to the world Kagawa’s created for her fae?

Get details on The Iron King Group Read
Read our loving review of The Iron King

One Response to “Thoughts: Use of Shakespeare’s characters in The Iron King”

  1. Sarah says:

    i acually think its better to put old charecters into new books. it get the reader intristed into shakespeare.


  1. Poll: Vote for the August group read | Vampire Book Club - [...] about Julie Kagawa’s epic fantasy opener The Iron King (review), with discussion points related to A Midsummer Night’s Dream…

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