Shakespeare and the Law: A Conversation Among Disciplines and Professions (Hardback)
  • Shakespeare and the Law: A Conversation Among Disciplines and Professions (Hardback)
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Shakespeare and the Law: A Conversation Among Disciplines and Professions (Hardback)

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£31.00
Hardback 352 Pages / Published: 05/04/2013
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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 and even sitting judges, "Shakespeare and the Law" demonstrates that Shakespeare's thinking about legal concepts points to a deep engagement with the law's technical workings, its underlying premises, and its social effects. "Shakespeare and the Law" opens with three essays on law and literature that emphasize both the continuities and contrasts between the two fields. In its second section, the book considers Shakespeare's awareness of common law thinking and practice through examinations of Measure for Measure and Othella. Building on this question, in the third part a judge and a former solicitor general rule on Shylock's demand for enforcement of his odd contract, and two essays by literary scholars take contrasting views on whether Shakespeare could imagine a functioning legal system. The fourth section looks at how law enters into conversation with issues of politics and community, both in the plays and in our own world. The volume concludes with a freewheeling colloquy among Supreme Court Justice Stephen J. Breyer, Judge Richard A. Posner, Martha C. Nussbaum, and Richard Strier. Celebrating the sometimes fractious intellectual energy produced by scholars and practitioners tackling the question of Shakespeare and the law, this collection is a resource and provocation for further thinking and ongoing discussion.

Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226924939
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 612 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 30 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
""Shakespeare and the Law" is true to its word. This collection is filled with captivating and often convincing claims about not just the brooding omnipresence but also the moral necessity of law to Shakespeare's characters, their fate, and the quality of justice depicted and dispensed in the plays, as well as in Shakespeare's own life and in our own world. The essays provide an education, while the transcribed conversation that closes the volume, with a guest appearance by Justice Stephen Breyer, is an illuminating and delightful denouement."
--Robin West, Georgetown University
"This splendid collection of essays embraces dramaturgical, legal-historical, legal-philosophical, and formal and linguistic approaches to the question of Shakespeare and the law. Although the Shakespeare we meet here is suspicious of the law's formalisms, a world without law is no utopia in his plays. Instead Shakespeare seeks out and celebrates the forms of equity that might qualify and contextualize the letter of the law in order to explore the forms of civility and fellowship through which human beings resolve conflicts and build worlds. Funny, informative, fast-moving, and smart, this book is both a pleasure to read and a resource to savor and share."
--Julia Reinhard Lupton, author of Thinking with Shakespeare
"Shakespeare and the Law" is true to its word. This collection is filled with captivating and often convincing claims about not just the brooding omnipresence but also the moral necessity of law to Shakespeare s characters, their fate, and the quality of justice depicted and dispensed in the plays, as well as in Shakespeare s own life and in our own world. The essays provide an education, while the transcribed conversation that closes the volume, with a guest appearance by Justice Stephen Breyer, is an illuminating and delightful denouement.
--Robin West, Georgetown University"
Shakespeare and the Law is true to its word. This collection is filled with captivating and often convincing claims about not just the brooding omnipresence but also the moral necessity of law to Shakespeare s characters, their fate, and the quality of justice depicted and dispensed in the plays, as well as in Shakespeare s own life and in our own world. The essays provide an education, while the transcribed conversation that closes the volume, with a guest appearance by Justice Stephen Breyer, is an illuminating and delightful denouement.
--Robin West, Georgetown University"
This splendid collection of essays embraces dramaturgical, legal-historical, legal-philosophical, and formal and linguistic approaches to the question of Shakespeare and the law. Although the Shakespeare we meet here is suspicious of the law s formalisms, a world without law is no utopia in his plays. Instead Shakespeare seeks out and celebrates the forms of equity that might qualify and contextualize the letter of the law in order to explore the forms of civility and fellowship through which human beings resolve conflicts and build worlds. Funny, informative, fast-moving, and smart, this book is both a pleasure to read and a resource to savor and share.
--Julia Reinhard Lupton, author of Thinking with Shakespeare"

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