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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: January ::
Re: Hamlet, CEO
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.002  Wednesday, 1 January 2003

[1]     From:   Richard Burt <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 31 Dec 2002 09:00:25 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2484 Re: Hamlet, CEO

[2]     From:   Abigail Quart <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 31 Dec 2002 11:53:03 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 13.2484 Re: Hamlet, CEO

[3]     From:   Clifford Stetner <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 31 Dec 2002 12:01:36 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2484 Re: Hamlet, CEO


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Burt <
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Date:           Tuesday, 31 Dec 2002 09:00:25 -0500
Subject: 13.2484 Re: Hamlet, CEO
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2484 Re: Hamlet, CEO

There is actually quite an extensive list of books on Shakespeare's
characters as business leaders (successes and failures).  Don Hedrick
has an article on the topic in my edited collection, Shakespeare after
Mass Media, and Doug Lanier lists many of the books in a footnote to his
essay on Hamlet in the summer issue of Shakespeare Quarterly.

Last summer, a Seattle Times reporter did a story on a seminar on this
topic for businessmen.  The seminar was led by Laurence Olivier's son,
Richard.

"Once more into the breach, dear CEOs: The Bard of Avon is teaching
corporate leaders their business."
By Misha Berson
Seattle Times theater critic

VANCOUVER, B.C. - The man declaiming the hallowed opening verse of
William Shakespeare's "Henry V" in a theater here recently spoke the
lines cogently, resonantly, full conviction.

This 40-year-old Englishman, with his tousled black hair and trim beard,
was, all, Richard Olivier - son of famed actress Joan Plowright and the
most revered Shakespearean actor of the past century, Laurence Olivier.

But the audience hanging on to his every word was not your standard
matinee-theater crowd. Instead, Olivier was delivering some of the Bard
of Avon's most stirring lines to a group of 50 bank and credit-union
managers and social-service, arts and university administrators - not
for an afternoon's entertainment, but for lessons in organizational
leadership.

For the rest of thte article, go to:

http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=shakespeare18&date=20020818

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Abigail Quart <
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Date:           Tuesday, 31 Dec 2002 11:53:03 -0500
Subject: 13.2484 Re: Hamlet, CEO
Comment:        RE: SHK 13.2484 Re: Hamlet, CEO

Correcting Terrence Hawkes, because the opportunity is so rare, but
Hamlet Sr. was not the founder of Denmark, merely one in a line.
However, it's worth pointing out that the aethling system under which he
ruled was not unlike our own wherein upper class, wealthy men get
together and decide which of them will  lead the country for a while.

Hamlet, like Bush, seems to be attempting to set aside that worthy,
democracy-like system in favor of straight-out primogeniture.

The result of Hamlet's efforts is many bodies onstage and the loss of
Denmark's national independence and power.

But that couldn't happen here.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Clifford Stetner <
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Date:           Tuesday, 31 Dec 2002 12:01:36 -0500
Subject: 13.2484 Re: Hamlet, CEO
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2484 Re: Hamlet, CEO

Hamlet, I'm sure, would hold capitalism in utter contempt. He would
liken the accumulation of capital to the sun breeding maggots in a dead
dog, and compare his fellow CEO's unfavorably to honest fishmongers.
Once CEO, his discovery of the pernicious, embezzling, exploitative,
murderous, usurping practices of his competitors, and the moral
depravity of their private lives, would make him resolve to use his
position to destroy them. He would pretend to be eccentric and gullible,
so they are not suspicious when he offers them ridiculously advantageous
terms, knowing that they will greedily try to take advantage of him.
Once he has drawn them into commitments, he would suddenly and
inexplicably sell off their interests at a loss bringing them near to
ruin, until they resolved either to have him declared non compis mentis
or, on failing that, to have him found suicided in his car with a long
note about the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. But the success
of his plan would only make him highly paranoid, suspecting the
collusion even of his old Harvard MBA chums and his once trusted
employees in a conspiracy against him. He would shut himself into his
rooms, neglecting to shave or cut his hair for weeks. His paranoia would
lead to treating his executives contemptuously, calling them a bunch of
waterflies, and suggesting they consider a religious life.
Unfortunately, his growing paranoia and irrationality would prevent him
from recognizing an obvious plot to have him killed and made to look
like an accident victim. Called to attend a meeting of powerful CEO's
with the Treasury Secretary and the Federal Reserve in an underground
buker in Virginia, he would realize his error only when he saw a large
dumptruck bearing down on his car from behind. Suddenly noticing his
chief competitor's limo in front of him, he would crash his car into it,
killing all the occupants, before being crushed to death. After months
of unsuccessful attempts at a hostile takeover, the son of his father's
chief competitor would then acquire the corporation at a nominal cost.

Clifford Stetner

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