Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Big Thinking : Antony and Cleopatra and "The Obama Problem"

Ok, maybe the series that Big Think is doing has some potential. Here James Shapiro, Carol Gilligan and Kenji Yoshino is discuss "Which Shakespeare play do you think most illuminates contemporary issue and our culture?"

Ok, who guessed Antony and Cleopatra? Wouldn't have been my first choice. Not that I had a first choice, I just don't think of A&C that often.

Jim Shapiro: ...I think about how, especially Antony, deals with the disappointment others have in him. This is kind of an Obama type problem. Philo and Demetrius come out at the beginning. This **** general offloads the ****. He is not doing what—we want to follow him and lead. We need him to lead us in the way that he’s always led us by those Roman values or whatever parting line it is and he realizes he is not going to do that anymore and he has to deal with their disappointment in him and I think that’s really hard today. We live in a world in which we don’t want to disappoint our followers or our students or our political supporters and you also have to do that if you’re going to be true.

It gets better from there. Yoshino goes throws Titus Andronicus into the mix as well.

It's short, but thought provoking.

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