A couple of weeks back, I tweeted out to the four major presidential candidates (yes, I included Libertarian and Green party noms), asking them to name their favorite Shakespearean character and why, spurred on by an article in the UK paper The Guardian citing US Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement that his fave is Rosalind from As You Like It.
Alas, no responses yet (of course, these are busy people, and I really wasn’t expecting any).
Well, now it’s your turn…
Author (and frequent commentator on this blog) Jean Hegland posted a great idea, one that opens up the idea to you, o readers of this blog. She wrote:
In the meantime, can we post our guesses on their faves? (Though I suppose that could actually be two games, couldn’t it?: First, there’s who we imagine the candidates’ favorite characters might be, and then there’s who we think their favorite characters should be, given how we interpret the candidates’ backgrounds and personalities…)
I love the first part of that suggestion!
(NOTE: I like the second part, too, but I fear that there may be some — let us say — “emotional leakage” that might end up with flame-wars, hurt feelings, and tears…but heck, as we get closer to election day, I may just “go there” anyway…)
So, here’s your assignment, my imaginative intrepid interpreters:
Pick a candidate. Suggest a character that you think the candidate would favor, and a quick note why. Attach it to this blog entry as a comment. (or if you’re shy, you can email them to me at bill “at” thebillshakespeareproject.com) I may just read them in a future podcast! I might just get in on the fun, too…
2 Replies to “YOUR question of presidential politics”
Ok, I’ll play:
I think Hillary would also love Rosalind for her intelligence, her courage, her commitment to improving other people’s lives (albeit a little intrusively), and her ability to wear “man’s apparel.” But I also imagine Hillary would have a fondness for the Winter’s Tale’s Paulina for her outspoken and courageous defense of wronged women and children, as well as for her ability to keep secrets (ahem…), and her commitment to making sure that Leontes acknowledges and atones for his mistakes. Finally, I also suspect that Hillary harbors a secret love for Juliet, that smart and ardent girl who who’s willing to fight the entire Veronan patriarchy for what she loves.
With all due respect to Donald Trump (and not a shred more), I frankly can’t imagine his having a favorite character from Shakespeare at all. But perhaps he’d admire the Winter’s Tale’s Autolycus for his brash and light-fingered ways, his ability to read the rubes, to take advantage of every situation, and to sleep out the thought of the life to come.
I’m going to go with Othello for Gary Johnson because Othello knows where Aleppo is… what, too soon? (I waited a couple of weeks). OK, that was sarcastic.
Non-sarcastically, I think he’d be way into Lear’s Edgar. He’s the outsider, looked upon as a nothing, a whack-job; but at the end of the game, he ends up king. I think he’d find that very, very appealing.