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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: June ::
The Big Question
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0587  Thursday, 22 June 2006

[1] 	From: 	Joseph Egert <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 21 Jun 2006 18:00:52 +0000
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 17.0577 The Big Question

[2] 	From: 	Larry Weiss <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 21 Jun 2006 15:07:05 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0580 The Big Question


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Joseph Egert <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 21 Jun 2006 18:00:52 +0000
Subject: 17.0577 The Big Question
Comment: 	RE: SHK 17.0577 The Big Question

Curiouser and curiouser.

Don Bloom asks:

 >How would you define what
 >Shylock attempts to do to Antonio? He certainly attempts to have him
 >killed, though Antonio is no threat to his own life or the life of
 >someone he is trying to protect (say, Jessica). On the contrary, he
 >does so with malice (or something) aforethought, when Antonio is
 >helpless. What term do we use for this act?

Clearly, Don, the act is one of attempted homicide. One can even argue 
entrapment by Portia as mitigation. The phrase "judicial murder" may be 
narrowly applied to those instances where functionaries of a given legal 
system corrupt and evade the rules and procedures of said system, 
leading to the death of one or more parties involved. Judging as we do 
from our independent codes across oceans of time and space, we may find 
the system in its very nature morally abhorrent. Yet as long as the 
system functions smoothly and remains true to its own terms, there can 
be no judicial murder within those terms. The subject within who 
contemplates defiance will inevitably confront Socrates' choice in prison.

Let us assume, for the moment, the authentic Bellario is guiding the 
trial rather than the imposter Portia. Were there no legal impediments 
to the lethal forfeiture, Shylock could kill Antonio with impunity. With 
the legal impediments in effect, the authorities could equally execute 
Shylock for seeking Antonio's life. Neither instance would constitute 
judicial murder within the internal rules of the system. Portia's 
imposture, however, taints the very trial process itself. Had any death 
resulted, she could have been held accountable for judicial murder.

Don goes on to retract his qualification:

 >As to the personal matter. I used "slander" because JE did, and
 >issued my qualification because I detest the name-calling that Hardy
 >has so successfully suppressed, and wished to make it clear that I
 >had no intention of getting into it, even inadvertently.

Are we to understand then that Don issued his qualification solely for 
Forum comity? He didn't really mean it?  once again implying that 
unnamed others are seeking to "exonerate" the "murderer" Shylock rather 
than providing context (See JD Markel's illuminating post.). Are we back 
then  to square one? Did Ed Taft truly suggest "everyone agrees with 
[Don] (that Shylock is a murderer...)"?

Don seems to vacillate between describing Shylock's conduct as murder 
versus attempted murder. He likewise confuses Jessica's "forebodings" of 
desertion with desertion itself. No, Don. Shylock has not yet murdered 
anyone, nor has Lorenzo yet deserted Jessica. Is Don contemplating a 
sequel? He certainly has the imagination for it.

Regards,
Joe Egert

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Larry Weiss <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 21 Jun 2006 15:07:05 -0400
Subject: 17.0580 The Big Question
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0580 The Big Question

Let's use an analogy: today, juries often face the agonizing decision 
whether or not a defendant has committed "justifiable homicide." In an 
all-too typical case, a wife has been terrorized by a husband - abused 
mentally and physically, called names, reviled, and perhaps even spit 
upon - not once but many times.

By no stretch is this a defense of "justifiable homicide."  The law does 
not allow someone to commit murder because she perceives, even 
correctly, that she has been maltreated.  There are ample legal remedies 
available to an abused spouse, murder isn't one of them.  At most, the 
circumstances might mitigate the punishment, they don't excuse the crime.

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