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Perspective: Revenge of the unpromoted

Austin Kehmeier

In about 1600, Shakespeare wrote a play about a soldier who did not get promoted.

This soldier, named Iago, took revenge on his boss, Othello, by misleading him and inducing him to murder his wife. Thus was a life tragically destroyed, and in part it happened because Iago did not get promoted.

Over three centuries later President Richard Nixon overlooked the number two FBI official, Mark Felt, and appointed Patrick Gray as head of the bureau. Felt, like Iago, was furious, and soon proceeded to leak secrets about Nixon that helped in time to destroy his presidency. The journalists Woodward and Bernstein called Felt “Deep Throat” in order to protect his identity.

It is said that “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” Hell also hath no fury like a man who is not promoted.

Tom McBride is co-author of the annual Beloit College Mindset List. He is a specialist in Shakespeare. For 42 years he taught at Beloit, where he won an award for excellence in teaching. He also coordinated the Mackey Distinguished Writers' Program and the First Year Initiatives Program.