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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: September ::
Trials in Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1823  Monday, 22 September 2003

[1]     From:   Brian Schuth <
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        Date:   Friday, 19 Sep 2003 08:54:48 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1816 Trials in Shakespeare

[2]     From:   Melvyn R. Leventhal <
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        Date:   Friday, 19 Sep 2003 11:07:36 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1816 Trials in Shakespeare

[3]     From:   R. A. Cantrell <
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        Date:   Friday, 19 Sep 2003 22:09:46 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1808 Trials in Shakespeare

[4]     From:   David Frankel <
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        Date:   Saturday, 20 Sep 2003 00:48:06 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 14.1816 Trials in Shakespeare

[5]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Friday, 19 Sep 2003 14:09:07 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1816 Trials in Shakespeare

[6]     From:   Jay Feldman <
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        Date:   Friday, 19 Sep 2003 14:50:48 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1816 Trials in Shakespeare

[7]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Friday, 19 Sep 2003 16:02:35 -0700
        Subj:   RE: SHK 14.1816 Trials in Shakespeare


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian Schuth <
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Date:           Friday, 19 Sep 2003 08:54:48 -0400
Subject: 14.1816 Trials in Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1816 Trials in Shakespeare

Perhaps I missed it, but I didn't see mention of Hermione's trial in
*Winter's Tale*.... bjs

Brian Schuth

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Eastport, Maine

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Melvyn R. Leventhal <
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Date:           Friday, 19 Sep 2003 11:07:36 EDT
Subject: 14.1816 Trials in Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1816 Trials in Shakespeare

1. One scholar's list of trial scenes in Shakespeare appears at footnote
1 of "Shylock, Robert Miles, and Events at the Theatre" by Herbert
Berry, Shakespeare Quarterly, Volume 44, Number 2, (Summer, 1993), p.
183.

Professor Berry lists Comedy of Errors, Love's Labour's Lost, MND, Much
Ado, Richard II,  All Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure, Winter's
Tale, Henry VIII.

He describes all the above trial scenes as "less than proper trials and
most are abortive."

2.  My view is that there are no proper trials in any play by
Shakespeare.  In fact even in the Merchant of Venice the trial scene is
part of the comedy with Portia playing her mischievous self, in disguise
(a comic device) with everyone in the audience knowing she's a fraud and
laughing hysterically at the proceedings.  The trial scene is a lawyer
joke (lawyers are too dumb to know that capital punishment is a
preposterous remedy for a default on a promissory note) and Shylock is
"hoisted on his own petard" -- also a comic device.  See my book review
of "Kill all the Lawyers: Shakespeare's Legal Appeal" Brooklyn Law
Journal, Volume 60, No.  4, Winter of 1995, pp. 1518-1526.

Melvyn R. Leventhal

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           R. A. Cantrell <
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Date:           Friday, 19 Sep 2003 22:09:46 -0500
Subject: 14.1808 Trials in Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1808 Trials in Shakespeare

Has any study been published that examines Shakespeare's knowledge of
law in respect to possible sources for that knowledge (i.e. reference
works, texts)?

All the best,
R.A. Cantrell
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[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Frankel <
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Date:           Saturday, 20 Sep 2003 00:48:06 -0400
Subject: 14.1816 Trials in Shakespeare
Comment:        RE: SHK 14.1816 Trials in Shakespeare

If broadly construed, you might consider the "trial" of Hermia in MND
and the trial of Pompey (with Froth as witness) in MfM.

cdf

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Friday, 19 Sep 2003 14:09:07 -0400
Subject: 14.1816 Trials in Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1816 Trials in Shakespeare

Ros King writes:

>The Trial by combat in Richard II - is exactly that, except it never
>gets to combat. The ultimate court in which Richard, God's anointed on
>earth, DARE not let God decide the right.

Actually Richard II is filled with trials both formal and informal.  For
example, Bolingbroke unofficially tries Bushy and Green.  And of course
Aumerle is pardoned and tried (in that order) by Henry in chambers. In
both cases (as throughout the play) the judge is at least as guilty as
the accused.

Bill Godshalk

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jay Feldman <
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Date:           Friday, 19 Sep 2003 14:50:48 EDT
Subject: 14.1816 Trials in Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1816 Trials in Shakespeare

I thought David Crosby's list of trial potentials for Richard II a good
one but he seems to have left out the quasi-trial of Green and Bushy by
Henry in 3.1 with its hasty, head-spinning, resolution.

Jay Feldman

[7]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Friday, 19 Sep 2003 16:02:35 -0700
Subject: 14.1816 Trials in Shakespeare
Comment:        RE: SHK 14.1816 Trials in Shakespeare

Nobody has mentioned the canonical court presided over by Wolsey in
Henry VIII, 2.4.

Yours,
Sean.

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