Dr Ismail Serageldin always liked Shakespeare, finding in him a multi-layered complexity that speaks to us beyond the beauty of words and the power of the poetry. Being a great admirer of the genius of Shakespeare, he decided, that as a trend, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina would hold an Annual Shakespeare Conference to discuss and analyze one or more of his plays and the different facets of the characters.The greatness of Shakespeare is attested to by his ability to speak to us through space and time. Indeed, he was “not of an age but for all time”.

Shakespeare has addressed the burdens of leaders in many of his plays, whether power, justice or responsibility. He deals with the humanity of the leaders, not just the humanity of the led. Leaders are people and people are never perfect.

Dr Serageldin was requested by many to record these lectures and make them available. Accordingly, he has re-read Shakespeare and the Burden of Leadership at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Studio, in Alexandria, Egypt, on 28 July 2013.