Gordon Brown a Shakespearean figure?

Comparisons of political leaders to tragic characters in Shakespeare’s plays are not uncommon. But Rachel Sylvester at the Times of London pulls off a first, purporting to find resemblances between Britain’s supremely troubled prime minister, Gordon Brown, and all four of Shakespeare’s best known tragic heroes:

This is a Shakespearean tragedy, rather than a Greek one, because the hero will be brought down by a fatal character flaw and not by fate. Labour MPs love to debate which tragic hero Mr Brown is most like. Some say he has Hamlet’s tendency to dither—agonising whether “to be or not to be” in favour of public service reform. To others it is Macbeth’s “vaulting ambition which o’er-leaps itself” that will bring him down. For years he was consumed by Othello’s “green-eyed monster”, a destructive jealousy of Mr Blair. This week he more resembles King Lear, driven to distraction by the perceived ingratitude of his daughters who rages on the heath that he is “more sinned against than sinning”.

This is fun, but seriously I find any notion of a similarity between the creepy, emotionally dead Brown and Shakespeare’s larger than life protaganists to be ridiculous.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 07, 2009 02:32 PM | Send

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