Posted January 13, 2016
A second year student in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Murry (Trey) Smith published his essay “Lear’s Tyranny in Qaddafi’s Libya” in Forbes & Fifth, a national journal for undergraduate research.
Smith approaches William Shakespeare’s political tragedy King Lear from the applied, interdisciplinary direction of contemporary political collapse. Autocrats like Syria’s Hafez al-Assad, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, North Korea’s Kim Jong-Il, and particularly Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi not only parallel King Lear, their erratic leadership devolves into power vacuums and civil war. By connecting King Lear’s complex exploration of tyranny, decadence, failed foreign intervention, and mental illness to modern autocrats, Smith sharpens both a 400-year old play and the 2011 Libyan Revolution.
Trey is a Dean’s List offensive lineman on the Georgia Tech football team who is particularly interested in the effect of hard power on international relations at both intrastate and interstate levels. Trey wrote the article as part of his study of the “Violence of the Law” (LMC’s Writing and Communication Program) with Dr. Sarah Higinbotham in 2014.