by Emad Hajjaj/Jordan (CagleCartoons.com) 2017

“LIFE’S BUT a walking shadow, a poor player / That struts and frets his hour upon the stage / And then is heard no more: It is a tale / Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury / Signifying nothing.” — “MacBeth”

When President Trump replied Tuesday to the escalating nuclear threat posed by North Korea, deploying the weaponized rhetoric of “fire and fury” being unleashed upon that nation, it was almost as if he were reaching for the megaton poetics of royal Shakespeare — with the Hermit Kingdom’s Kim Jong Un cast, of course, as the global-village idiot.

But an interesting thing happened on the way to the satirical response to Tuesday’s news, after The Washington Post reported that North Korea had crossed a “key threshold” toward becoming a “full-fledged nuclear power,” now that Pyongyang reportedly has a miniaturized warhead to fit inside a missile.

As political cartoonists painted their takes on this news, a clear divergence emerged: Left-leaning satirists see both Trump and the North Korean dictator as actors prone to mad or infantile military posturing — putting the baby rattles in “saber-rattling” — while right-leaning humorists tend to train their aim squarely and solely on the latter leader.

How is this latest act playing out so far upon the world stage, and what does it signify? Let’s look toward the cartoonists’ greasepaint:

MIKE LUCKOVICH (Atlanta Journal Constitution):

by Mike Luckovich/Atlanta Journal Constitution 2017

NATE BEELER (Columbus Dispatch):

by Nate Beeler/Columbus Dispatch (CagleCartoons.com) 2017

RICK McKEE (Augusta Chronicle):

by Rick McKee/Augusta Chronicle (CagleCartoons.com) 2017

PAT BAGLEY (Salt Lake Tribune):

by Pat Bagley/Salt Lake Tribune (CagleCartoons.com) 2017


by Lisa Benson/Washington Post Writers Group 2017

TOM TOLES (The Washington Post):

by Tom Toles/The Washington Post 2017

STEVE BREEN (San Diego Union-Tribune):

by Steve Breen/San Diego Union-Tribune 2017