Friday, October 09, 2009

Young Hamlet’s Agony

I always stop and read when I see Shakespeare references mixed in with politics.  Here we have somebody comparing Obama’s needed decisions about what to do in Afghanistan with the melancholy prince of Denmark.  I believe the point of the comment, and I need to read more, is that much like our beloved Hamlet, Obama can’t seem to make a decision to save his life.

Don’t know whether that’s an accurate assumption or not, I have to read both articles.  But I wanted to get the link up so I didn’t lose it over the weekend.


American Delight said...

From my own limited journalism experience, I remember that the editors always came up with their own title for my columns. So it's possible that Krauthammer didn't intend to push the Hamlet parallel so strongly.

That being said, I could argue that the president's indecision is worse than Hamlet's, because Obama is neither a truly young man (by Shakespearean standards of age & maturity) nor a grief-stricken character. He lacks Hamlet's excuses.

JM said...

I agree; in fact, I'd argue that it's more than possible he didn't intend to push the parallel so strongly, as suggested by American Delight. Reference to Hamlet occurs only in the title and near the end of the piece in just prior to his conclusion. There, in a short sentence. he substitutes "Hamlet" for "Obama", referencing qualities of indecisiveness, etc.

--Then again, his "editors" may have "emended" further connections he had made to make it "read better". Something which, from my vantage point, could be viewed as quite the "Shakespearean" thing to do to someone's composition. :)