Idle speculation for a Saturday — if John McCain were a Shakespearean character, which would he be?
I began to wonder after reading “The Making (and Remaking) of McCain” by Robert Draper. In this narrative, the once-honorable hero listens to the bad advice of others and comes to a tragic end. It reminds me a bit of Brutus in Julius Caesar, who was persuaded to go along with the assassination of Caesar for the good of Rome, only to see all his good intentions come to ruin. But that’s not exactly right.
Then there’s Hamlet, who was charged with avenging his father in the first act but spent the entire play working up the nerve to do the job. In his anxiety and indecision he drove his girlfriend to suicide and accidentally killed her father — not to mention what happened to poor old Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. I see a touch of Hamlet in McCain, who is stumbling around from one contrived theme to another instead of engaging in a straightforward, honest campaign.
Then there’s Macbeth, who began the play as a military hero but who was easily corrupted by ambition. And crazy King Lear who trusted the wrong daughters. But maybe he was twisted old Richard III all along, and we just didn’t notice.