Mental Floss

(2) William Shakespeare vs. (7) General MacArthur

Tournament of Genius

(2) William Shakespeare

You may remember Shakespeare as arguably the greatest and most influential author. That should about do it. What, you want more? Okay, try this one on: the guy had the confidence to name his son Hamnet.

(7) General Douglas MacArthur

MacArthur had the sort of brilliant military career new recruits can only dream of. He became a general in 1918 following World War I, and later became Field Marshal of the Filipino army. It's his service in World War II that makes him a legend, though. Despite inadequate resources and support, MacArthur gradually forced the Japanese out of the Southwest Pacific Theater, and once the war was over, he served as the Allied Commander of the Japanese occupation for six years. When the Korean War broke out, MacArthur became the commander of the United Nations' forces in the conflict.

The Breakdown

"I shall return" or "To be or not to be"? That is the question. Both the Bard and the General were tough to beat when they were at the top of their games, but both have a few question marks on their resumes. Whether or not Shakespeare actually wrote all of the works attributed to him has been a raging debate for centuries now, and President Truman had to can MacArthur from his command post in Korea for insubordination. Even with these blotches, though, both were obviously superior minds. Who do you like: the man behind King Lear or the most famous corncob pipe this side of Frosty?


[See the whole bracket here.]