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Barritt: From Shakespeare to Goldman Sachs: Characters Drive a Good Story
CNBC.com | March 16, 2012 | 01:34 PM EDT

The very public resignation of a mid-level Goldman Sachs executive – which erupted on The New York Times Op Ed page Wednesday – has all the elements of a rippin’ good yarn.

Fans of both potboilers and highbrow drama need look no further than Page One to find the roles and techniques of classic storytelling, leveraged for generations by playwrights, novelists and filmmakers. The Goldman Sachs story has it all – a lone protagonist demanding accountability from a powerful entity, with a healthy dose of personal sacrifice, greed, bureaucracy, questionable ethics and dramatic revelations. Think Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Julia Robert’s Erin Brockovich or George Clooney’s Michael Clayton and you get the idea.

While we can’t begin to know the real details and motivation behind the Goldman Sachs story, it is clear that the major players have quickly fallen into defined roles in the daily drama the news media crafts each day. Complex narratives are distilled into broad concepts for easy audience consumption – black and white, good versus evil, guilty or innocent.

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