'Desperately Mortal': Exclusion in Shakespeare's Legal Plays

John R Morss

Abstract


Shakespeare’s most explicitly ‘legal’ plays are The Merchant of Venice and Measure for Measure. Both examine the interaction between human desire on one hand and the law on the other. In both plays laws cuts through the social hierarchies, either neutralising or exaggerating them. Key characters find their exclusion nullified by the law, and then discover inclusion is far worse than exclusion.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.21153/dlr2007vol12no1art171

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