Shakespeare And The Law: A Conversation Among Disciplines And Professions

Paperback | July 11, 2016

EditorBradin Cormack, Martha C. Nussbaum, Richard Strier

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William Shakespeare is inextricably linked with the law. Legal documents make up most of the records we have of his life, and trials, lawsuits, and legal terms permeate his plays. Gathering an extraordinary team of literary and legal scholars, philosophers, and even sitting judges, Shakespeare and the Law demonstrates that Shakespeare’s thinking about legal concepts and legal practice points to a deep and sometimes vexed engagement with the law’s technical workings, its underlying premises, and its social effects.

The book’s opening essays offer perspectives on law and literature that emphasize both the continuities and contrasts between the two fields. The second section considers Shakespeare’s awareness of common law thinking and common law practice, while the third inquires into Shakespeare’s general attitudes toward legal systems. The fourth part of the book looks at how law enters into conversation with issues of politics and community, whether in the plays, in Shakespeare’s world, or in our own world. Finally, a colloquy among Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Judge Richard Posner, Martha C. Nussbaum, and Richard Strier covers everything from the ghost in Hamlet to the nature of judicial discretion.

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William Shakespeare is inextricably linked with the law. Legal documents make up most of the records we have of his life, and trials, lawsuits, and legal terms permeate his plays. Gathering an extraordinary team of literary and legal scholars, philosophers, and even sitting judges, Shakespeare and the Law demonstrates that Shakespeare’...

Bradin Cormack is professor of English at Princeton University. Martha C. Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor in the Law School and the Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago. Richard Strier is the Frank L. Sulzberger Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the Department of English at the Un...

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Shakespeare and the Law: A Conversation among Disciplines and Professions
Shakespeare and the Law: A Conversation among Disciplin...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:341 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:July 11, 2016Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022637856X

ISBN - 13:9780226378565

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Shakespeare and the Law
 BRADIN CORMACK, MARTHA C. NUSSBAUM, and RICHARD STRIER

I. HOW TO THINK “LAW AND LITERATURE” IN SHAKESPEARE

DANIEL BRUDNEY
 Two Differences between Law and Literature

BRADIN CORMACK
 Decision, Possession: The Time of Law in The Winter’s Tale and the Sonnets

LORNA HUTSON
 “Lively Evidence”: Legal Inquiry and the Evidentia of Shakespearean Drama

II. SHAKESPEARE’S KNOWLEDGE OF LAW: STATUTE LAW, CASE LAW

CONSTANCE JORDAN
 Interpreting Statute in Measure for Measure

RICHARD H. MCADAMS
 Vengeance, Complicity, and Criminal Law in Othello

III. SHAKESPEARE’S ATTITUDES TOWARD LAW: IDEAS OF JUSTICE

RICHARD A. POSNER
 Law and Commerce in The Merchant of Venice

CHARLES FRIED
 Opinion of Fried, J., Concurring in the Judgment

DAVID BEVINGTON
 Equity in Measure for Measure

RICHARD STRIER
 Shakespeare and Legal Systems: The Better the Worse (but Not Vice Versa)

IV. LAW, POLITICS, AND COMMUNITY IN SHAKESPEARE

KATHY EDEN
 Liquid Fortification and the Law in King Lear

STANLEY CAVELL
 Saying in The Merchant of Venice

MARIE THERESA O’CONNOR
A British People: Cymbeline and the Anglo-Scottish Union Issue

MARTHA C. NUSSBAUM
 “Romans, Countrymen, and Lovers”: Political Love and the Rule of Law in Julius Caesar

DIANE P. WOOD
 A Lesson from Shakespeare to the Modern Judge on Law, Disobedience, Justification, and Mercy

V. ROUNDTABLE

 Shakespeare’s Laws: A Justice, a Judge, a Philosopher, and an English Professor

Contributors

Index

Editorial Reviews

“A kaleidoscopic feature of the book that emerges . . . is a natural result of the rich and varied interpretations of the thinkers’, professors’, judges’, and experts’ different institutional and disciplinary considerations.”