A Shakespeare Challenge

October 12, 2009 at 10:54 am (By Rodjean)

A recent thread touched on the question of the Obama Presidency as an opera. If the election and Presidency of Mr. Obama was a Shakespeare play, we would probably be at the end of the First Act. Which Shakespeare character would Mr. Obama be?

He doesn’t have to be the protagonist (although it is hard to imagine him in any other role.)

A hint about my tentative choice. He rises to power based on an eloquent speech in one play, then is brought to ruin by a disastrous foreign war in another.


  1. Peter Hoh said,

    That would be Mark Antony, no?

  2. Peter Hoh said,

    I’ve always thought that the Clintons would make good fodder for a Shakespeare play. The Bush family, too.

    For everyone who dislikes Obama, at least we didn’t go back to the Clintons. Twenty years of the presidency shared by two families was enough.

  3. Charlie (Colorado) said,

    Prince Harry in Henry IV, and then King Harry in Henry V, early on. Wastrel, spending his time in bad company, and then tossing them under the bus.

  4. Rod said,

    I considered Harry, but I was thinking about Mark Antony. Nothing is a perfect fit, of course. I’m not suggesting Mr. Obama will have affairs with foreign leaders.

  5. Donna B. said,

    Michelle would no doubt poison his Arugula if he tried that.

  6. Ron said,

    Bottom? ;)

  7. Rod said,


  8. pathmv said,

    Hamlet. Dithers about a lot. Ponders at length about the complexities of the decisions which he must make. Plays about with ultimately irrelevant matters (IOC bid, Beer Summit, arranging plays to spark some guilty conscience). Spends a lot of time deciding whether to do something rather than actually doing it. Doesn’t vet his friends and advisors very well.

  9. pathmv said,

    Of course, Hamlet said: “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio.”

    President Obama would say: “Alas, poor me! That’s not the Yorick I knew, Horatio.”

    Or perhaps: “Alas, poor Yorick! I didn’t really know him, Horatio, he was only a very casual acquaintance.”

  10. Jason (the commenter) said,

    I’m thinking of Othello.

    Obama is Othello, America is Desdemona, and Axelrod is Iago.

    It starts as a love affair and ends in tragedy.

  11. Ron said,


  12. Randy said,

    It starts as a love affair and ends in tragedy.

    That’s true for almost every administration in American history, don’t you think?

  13. pathmv said,

    True that, Randy.

  14. Jason (the commenter) said,

    Randy: That’s true for almost every administration in American history, don’t you think?

    People have already forgotten! This was supposed to be Camelot all over again. I think the expectations were extremely high this time around.

  15. michael reynolds said,

    I think Pat’s closest: Hamlet.

    Although my second choice is Romeo, with Chris Matthews as Juliette.

  16. reader_iam said,

    Anyone up for “Measure for Measure”?

  17. Jason (the commenter) said,

    michael reynolds: I think Pat’s closest: Hamlet.

    I’d agree with that, but only if you staged it with a teleprompter.

  18. pathmv said,

    Crap… now I’m going to have to go rewrite the “to be or not to be” soliloquy in the President’s voice. Although the more I look at it, the less sure I am that much needs to be edited…

  19. Donna B. said,

    “to be or maybe not to be, as I’ve said repeatedly”

  20. Rod said,

    We just need two teleprompters: one socialist, the other centrist.

  21. Ron said,

    I want to hear ‘to be or not to be’ in Nixon’s voice!

    ‘…and by opposing end them.”

    “And who would fardels bear?”

    “For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come?”


  22. Rod said,

    I rather imagine Nixon brooding about the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

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