Which Shakespeare Character is Obama?
Ben Brantley is the chief theater critic at The New York Times. Brantley is the editor of “The New York Times Book of Broadway: On the Aisle for the Unforgettable Plays of the Last Century" (2001) and received the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism in 1997.
Ben Brantley: I suppose the obvious analogy for Obama would be Richard II. I don’t buy it myself. I think Obama is a stronger president than Richard II was, a king, but a man who is perhaps politically naïve, who is perhaps too cerebral for the world of assorted politics. You could make a case for it. I could see Obama as Hamlet, a man given to great cerebral self-examination who finally realizes he has to act.
I don’t see Obama as Richard III the way a lot of people cast Richard Nixon as Richard III. I don’t see Obama as Macbeth, although I think Macbeth when you go back to it is every ambitious person or at least someone with the grains of ambition who can be manipulated by an ambitious person that you’ve ever known and the thing for me about Shakespeare is, you know, you see these people standing around the water cooler. I work with a dozen Iagos.
Of all the Shakespeare analogies of recent years (George W. Bush as Henry V; Hillary Clinton as Lady Macbeth), President Barack Obama is perhaps the most elusive.
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- Monogamy is natural, but adultery is, too, says biological anthropologist Helen Fisher.
- Even though humans are animals that form pair bonds, some humans have a predisposition for restlessness. This might come from the evolutionary development of a dual human reproductive strategy.
- This drive to fall in love and form a pair bond evolved for an ecological reason: to rear our children as a team.
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If your New Year's resolution was to get in shape, signing up for the marathon is a bad way to go about it.
- Marathons gained popularity over the last decade. In 2018, 456,700 Americans completed a marathon, an 11 percent increase in participation from 2008.
- Training for and racing 26.2 miles has been shown to have adverse effects on the heart, such as plaque buildup in the arteries and inflammation.
- Running too much can lead to chronically increased cortisol levels, resulting in weight gain, fatigue, and lower immune function.