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Shakespeare and the Law - a new course this spring
Wed / 2:45p - 5:45p Rm 108 O'Brian
By holding a mirror up to human nature, Shakespeare illuminated many of the fundamental issues of law and justice. His characters struggle with the same questions we face today: Must all contracts be enforced? When does justice require the murder of a tyrant? Does war have any laws? What evidence should be believed? Is the legal system, by its nature, unjust to women? To minorities?
This course will address these issues, using Shakespeare’s plays to frame our questions and discussion. We will alternate each week between reading a play and reading selections of the vast scholarship about the role of law in that play. Students will write short responses to the reading each week, and a final paper answering a research question. Students are expected to do the reading, complete all written assignments, and participate actively in class discussion. Among the plays discussed: The Merchant of Venice, Measure for Measure, Henry V, Julius Caesar, and Othello.
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