William Shakespeare had always been fascinated by the law. As a young man, he had dreamed of becoming a lawyer, but his passion for writing had taken over and he had pursued a career as a playwright instead. However, after many successful years in the theater, Shakespeare began to feel a pull back towards the legal world. He decided to enroll in law school, eager to explore this long-standing interest.
At first, Shakespeare found the legal world to be just as intellectually stimulating as he had hoped. He threw himself into his studies, devouring every text he could get his hands on. However, as he delved deeper into the subject, he began to feel a growing sense of dissatisfaction. While the law was certainly interesting, he found that it lacked the creativity and emotional depth that he craved.
One day, after a particularly dry lecture on property law, Shakespeare found himself doodling in the margins of his notebook. As he scribbled, his mind began to wander, and he found himself composing a character in his head – a clever, witty lawyer who used his words to outmaneuver his opponents in the courtroom. Shakespeare was intrigued by this idea, and he spent the next few weeks jotting down notes and ideas whenever he had a spare moment.
Before long, Shakespeare had created a full-fledged play, centered around his brilliant lawyer character. The play, titled “The Merchant of Venice,” was an instant hit when it debuted on the stage. Audiences were delighted by the witty banter between the characters, as well as the tense legal drama that played out in the courtroom. Shakespeare had managed to fuse his two passions – law and writing – into a single, compelling work of art.
“The Merchant of Venice” was not Shakespeare’s only foray into legal drama. He also wrote “Measure for Measure,” which centers around a judge who grapples with issues of morality and justice, and “Henry VI, Part 2,” which features a power-hungry lawyer who schemes and manipulates his way to the top.
Despite his success as a playwright, Shakespeare never lost his fascination with the law. He continued to attend court sessions and read legal texts throughout his life. However, he never regretted his decision to pursue writing, either. In the end, he had managed to create a legacy that blended his two greatest passions, and that continues to inspire and delight audiences to this day.
- “The Merchant of Venice”: This play revolves around a merchant named Antonio who borrows money from a Jewish moneylender named Shylock. When Antonio is unable to repay the debt, Shylock demands a pound of Antonio’s flesh as payment. The case goes to trial, and a clever young lawyer named Portia disguises herself as a man in order to defend Antonio. In the end, Portia is able to outmaneuver Shylock and save Antonio’s life.
- “Measure for Measure”: In this play, a judge named Angelo is put in charge of enforcing the city’s strict laws against premarital sex. However, when he falls in love with a young woman named Isabella, who has been sentenced to death for this very crime, he is forced to confront his own morality. The play explores complex questions of justice and mercy, and features several scenes in which lawyers argue their cases in court.
- “Henry VI, Part 2”: This play is part of a trilogy that tells the story of the Wars of the Roses, a series of conflicts between two rival branches of the English royal family. In this play, a scheming lawyer named Jack Cade leads a rebellion against the king, hoping to take the throne for himself. His plot is eventually foiled, but not before he delivers several memorable speeches in which he rails against the corrupt legal system.
While there are no plays by Shakespeare that deal specifically with personal injury law, there are a few instances in his works where characters suffer harm or injury and seek justice.
In “Henry V,” for example, there is a scene where a group of English soldiers loot a French town, killing and injuring several unarmed civilians in the process. The French king is outraged and demands justice for the victims, leading to a tense diplomatic standoff between the two sides.
Similarly, in “Julius Caesar,” the main character is assassinated by a group of senators who are unhappy with his leadership. After the assassination, the conspirators attempt to justify their actions in court, but are ultimately defeated by a lawyer named Marcus Brutus.
While these examples do not deal directly with personal injury law, they do touch on themes of violence and justice that are relevant to the field. In addition, Shakespeare’s plays often explore complex ethical and moral dilemmas, which could be applicable to a variety of legal issues.
There is no single definitive source for Shakespeare’s personal aspirations, as he left behind relatively few personal documents and letters. However, there are several pieces of evidence that suggest he had at least some interest in the legal profession.
One of the most notable examples is a line from “As You Like It,” where a character says, “I have neither the scholar’s melancholy, which is emulation; nor the musician’s, which is fantastical; nor the courtier’s, which is proud; nor the soldier’s, which is ambitious; nor the lawyer’s, which is politic; nor the lady’s, which is nice; nor the lover’s, which is all these: but it is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry contemplation of my travels, which, by often rumination, wraps me in a most humorous sadness” (Act IV, Scene 1).
In this passage, the character lists several professions, including that of a lawyer, and describes each one in terms of its characteristic qualities. The fact that Shakespeare included lawyers in this list suggests that he had at least some knowledge of the profession and may have considered it as a career option.
Additionally, there are records that show Shakespeare’s father, John Shakespeare, was a successful glove-maker and held several important positions in the local government. It is possible that William Shakespeare was exposed to legal proceedings through his father’s work and connections.
Overall, while there is no concrete evidence that Shakespeare definitively wanted to be a lawyer, there are several hints and clues that suggest he was at least interested in the field.
- “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers” – This quote is from Shakespeare’s play Henry VI, Part 2, and is spoken by the character Dick the Butcher. The line is often misinterpreted as a condemnation of lawyers, but it is actually meant to show how the breakdown of law and order in a society would make it easier for criminals to thrive.
- “Let’s choose executors and talk of wills: And yet not so, for what can we bequeath save our deposed bodies to the ground?” – This quote is from Shakespeare’s play Richard II, and is spoken by the character John of Gaunt. The line implies that lawyers are often focused on matters of inheritance and the afterlife, rather than on the concerns of the living.
- “He who the sword of heaven will bear should be as holy as severe” – This quote is from Shakespeare’s play Measure for Measure, and is spoken by the character Escalus. The line suggests that lawyers and judges should be impartial and fair, and should not let their personal biases or prejudices affect their decisions.
- “The law hath not been dead, though it hath slept” – This quote is from Shakespeare’s play Henry V, and is spoken by the character Archbishop of Canterbury. The line suggests that the law may sometimes be ignored or forgotten, but it can always be revived and enforced when necessary.
- “Lawyers are the only persons in whom ignorance of the law is not punished” – This quote is often attributed to Shakespeare, but it actually comes from a satirical work by John Ray titled “A Compleat Collection of English Proverbs.” The line pokes fun at the fact that lawyers are often perceived as knowing more about the law than anyone else, even though the law is often complex and difficult to understand.
While Shakespeare may have written about lawyers and the laws of story telling, it’s important to remember that the legal system is complex and ever-changing. If you’re facing a legal issue, it’s important to seek the guidance of a licensed attorney who can provide you with individualized advice and representation. So, if you need legal assistance, I strongly recommend that you call a real lawyer at a reputable law firm, like the one at 361-880-8181. They can help guide you through the legal process and help you achieve the best possible outcome for your situation.