The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2388 Thursday, 18 October 2001
Date: Thursday, 18 Oct 2001 12:39:14 +0100
Subject: 12.2372 Re: Merchant
Comment: Re: SHK 12.2372 Re: Merchant
Sean Lawrence writes,
> I can hardly disagree that this particular murder statute
> in culturally inflected; however, it is hardly surprising that
> murder is illegal. Even if we didn't have access to the statute,
> we ought still to suppose that some such a statute would exist.
Please do not think I'm quibbling, but since 'murder' means the unlawful
killing of a human being, it is tautological to refer to the illegality
of murder. Portia refers to the taking of a life without calling it
murder. One is surely to suppose that the statute in question goes
beyond what definition of murder we are entitled to assume.
> By the way, now that you mention it, "indirect attempts"
> seems widely open-ended. It could, in principle, cover
> Shylock's normal business, since he might have to foreclose
> on debtors and you take my life when you do take the means
> whereby I live.
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