Event Title

Legitimate Leadership: A Comparative Analysis of Shakespeare’s Richard II and Recent U.S. Presidents

Faculty Advisor

Joanne Diaz

Graduation Year

2021

Location

Room E102, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Start Date

4-4-2020 10:15 AM

End Date

4-4-2020 10:30 AM

Description

When students study leadership in Shakespeare’s Richard II, it’s often a discussion surrounding divine rights to leadership and other concepts relating to a medieval, monarchical England. However, the question of legitimacy in this play offers timeless notions and criteria for leadership of any kind. In her article “A Crisis of Legitimacy: Shakespeare’s Richard II and the Problems of Modern Executive Leadership,” Dr. Andrea Ciliotta-Rubery uses the leadership criteria of legitimate ascension to power, job performance, and personal morality to examine the leadership of Richard, Bolingbroke, as well as Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Her argument follows along with a classroom experiment she conducted on her undergraduate political science students who analyzed these leaders according to these criteria. The conclusion showed that for each leader, the individual criteria had different value. There was no real resolution as to what makes a leader completely legitimate, as no leaders analyzed perfectly embodied each criterion. By analyzing our two most recent American presidents, Donald Trump and Barack Obama, I hope to uncover more answers to the question of legitimate leadership through a comparative analysis with Richard II.

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Apr 4th, 10:15 AM Apr 4th, 10:30 AM

Legitimate Leadership: A Comparative Analysis of Shakespeare’s Richard II and Recent U.S. Presidents

Room E102, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

When students study leadership in Shakespeare’s Richard II, it’s often a discussion surrounding divine rights to leadership and other concepts relating to a medieval, monarchical England. However, the question of legitimacy in this play offers timeless notions and criteria for leadership of any kind. In her article “A Crisis of Legitimacy: Shakespeare’s Richard II and the Problems of Modern Executive Leadership,” Dr. Andrea Ciliotta-Rubery uses the leadership criteria of legitimate ascension to power, job performance, and personal morality to examine the leadership of Richard, Bolingbroke, as well as Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Her argument follows along with a classroom experiment she conducted on her undergraduate political science students who analyzed these leaders according to these criteria. The conclusion showed that for each leader, the individual criteria had different value. There was no real resolution as to what makes a leader completely legitimate, as no leaders analyzed perfectly embodied each criterion. By analyzing our two most recent American presidents, Donald Trump and Barack Obama, I hope to uncover more answers to the question of legitimate leadership through a comparative analysis with Richard II.