Learning From Shakespeare

Though it’s a couple years old, I only recently came across the book Shakespeare for Analysts: Literature and Intelligence. It’s an interesting (and free) read, based on the premise that one can learn much about “personalities and behaviors of modern leaders and the events they are involved in” by studying – and, indeed, analyzing – the behavior of characters in Shakespeare’s works. A number of arguments are made both for and against this approach, and my personal belief is that, applicability of the study of dead white Englishmen notwithstanding, the carefully condensed nature of Shakespeare’s plays means that you are, in essence, seeing only those things you are meant to, and indeed need to, as an analyst, see. You’re not seeing unedited, raw dross, but only – very literally, only – material with meaning; if it wasn’t important to understanding the reality extant within the confines of the play, it wouldn’t be in the play. (If there’s a gun on the mantel in act one, et cetera…)

While I do enough analyzing of people, and groups, already, the thought of doing a full-blown intelligence analysis of the students, faculty, and staff in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is mighty tempting – but sounds a bit too much like work at the moment…

Published in: Geekiness, General, History | on February 4th, 2008| Comments Off on Learning From Shakespeare

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