Monday, April 27, 2009

Shakespeare For Presidents

Perhaps the best article I’ve seen yet that dives into what past presidents have thought about Mr. Shakespeare.  We all know by now that Obama loves Lincoln and Lincoln loved Shakespeare, but this article looks in detail at Lincoln’s favorite speeches and his commentary on them as well, and then goes on to examine what other presidents have had to say on similar topics (including Reagan and Clinton).

Then we also get a trip through the history of the presidency with mentions of the Shakespeare connection to:  John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, James Garfield, Millard Fillmore and JFK, ending with George W Bush (although it is certainly positioned as an insult in that case).

Lastly the author (hey look – Barry Edelstein, I just got his book Bardisms last week!) goes on to make a whole laundry list of suggestions for speeches that Obama might want to use, once he gets around to quoting the Bard in public.

Great article.

1 comment:

smoneil said...

If you enjoyed that article, you should check out Dr. Stephen Dickey's article in the most recent Folger Magazine. He connects a number of eerie and fascinating Shakespearean tidbits regarding Lincoln and Booth.