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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Spring 2004

T C 301 • Perspectives on Shakespeare and Leadership

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
39615 M
2:00 PM-5:00 PM

Course Description

Perspectives on Shakespeare and Leadership Since he began writing over 400 years ago, no literary figure anywhere has approached William Shakespeare in worldwide influence. Not only the most important writer in the English language, he influenced Germany’s greatest writer, Goethe, and Russia’s premier novelist, Tolstoy, both of whom wrote extensively about his work. The founder of modern psychology, Sigmund Freud, analyzed the make-up of Shakespeare’s characters, who lived not in flesh but only in imagination; and Italy’s foremost operatic composers based operas on his plays. As Ben Jonson, his contemporary dramatist, wrote of Shakespeare, he was “not of an age, but for all time.” Many of our ideas of earlier leaders who shaped history, such as Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, Richard III and Henry V, come from Shakespeare’s portrayals. And purely imaginative creations like Hamlet, Prospero, Rosalind and Viola are studied today partly because of their skills or shortcomings in leading others. Therefore, it should be worthwhile, as we explore together the fuller range of Shakespeare’s artistry, to give attention to aspects of leadership in his plays that are “not of an age, but for all time.” Attributes and techniques of leadership discovered there can be related to works and lives of three more recent leaders: Winston Churchill, the epitome of a great wartime leader; Mahatma Gandhi, the foremost practitioner of non-violence (who profoundly influenced Martin Luther King); and Abraham Lincoln, the wartime leader famous for his compassion.

About the Professor: Robert Krueger, Thompson Professor in the Humanities, took his doctorate in English literature from Oxford and began to teach Shakespeare at Duke University thirty years ago, at which time he published scholarly works on Renaissance writers, and won Duke University undergraduate teaching awards. Since then he has worked as a businessman and has served on the Texas Railroad Commission (the three-member elected body that regulates oil, gas, energy, and transportation policy in Texas). He has served, as well, as a U.S. Congressman, U.S. Senator, and, on three occasions, as U.S. Ambassador, with assignments in Mexico, Burundi, and Botswana; and has been Special Representative of the U.S. Secretary of State to the fourteen nations of the Southern African Development Community. His writings include over 200 weekly newspaper columns on various social, political, international and economic questions. In 2000, he was made Visiting Research Fellow at Merton College, Oxford University, to write a book on his family’s experience of living amid genocide in Africa. He will seek both to bring his academic study and his experience in dealing with international governmental and business leaders to Shakespeare’s works and achievement, and to respect the fact that more insight, collectively, lies among the freshmen members of the tutorial than in the one instructor who leads it.

Grading Policy

The grades will be based on class participation (35%), four essays of 4-6 pages each (35%), a final examination (30%).


Abraham Lincoln, Selected Speeches and Writings Mohandas Gandhi, Autobiography: My Experiments with Truth Winston Churchill, a packet of selected speeches and writings Shakespeare, Midsummer’s Night Dream, Merchant of Venice, Measure for Measure, Richard II, Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2; Henry V, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra, Winter’s Tale, Troilus and Cressida, Tempest.


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