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November 06, 2016


Bill Benzon

A queen of self-abnigation?

What stuck me about this series, I’m only five episodes in, is that it seems to be about the tension between private life and public duty. And that that is playing in counterpoint to the 2016 presidential election, where public and private are thoroughly confused. Way back in the reign of Elizabeth we have Shakespeare exploring this issue in Henry IV, 1 and 2, where Hal finally rejects his old buddy Falstaff once he becomes king. So far, as the series plays out, private life is impoverished in service to public duty.

Do we have no way of imagining a world where both private life and public duty are enriched, even if made difficult as well, by making a distinction between them?

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