William Shakespeare: Attorney at Law and Solicitor in Chancery


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By Richard Grant White - Richard Grant White

This claim by Fuller is a bit baffling. During the sixteenth century, date was known to signify continuance.

The OED gives the following definition and examples:. The time during which something lasts; period, season; duration; term of life or existence. Secrees So to perseuere and lastyn a long date.

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Even O. Phillips is exactly right. We must keep a vigilant eye out for the context in which a term is used. If the context is strictly a dramatization of a legal situation with characters supposed to be knowledgeable in law, then we may more strictly hold Shakespeare to the legal meaning rather than the conventional meaning of a word. If a legal term is misused by a comedic character, then we cannot say that the dramatist was guilty of misuse.

Robertson later supported these attacks without providing any examples of supposed errors. He presents a compelling proposition that he feels safe in advancing:. Though the frequent use of legal terms, with their proper technical meanings, has a cumulative effect, and tends strongly to prove a legal training; yet a very few errors in such use, if glaring and gross, would absolutely nullify that effect and proof. This examination will also reveal how easily critics can slip into common errors and narrowmindedness. Tell me what state, what dignity, what honor Canst thou demise to any child of mine?

IV—8 [10]. Greenwood goes further, pointing out that, in fact, it was possible for Richard, as king, to demise such dignities or honours. Replication: Hamlet : Ham. Besides, to be demanded of a sponge! What replication should be made by the son of a king?


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Greenwood agrees that in pleading, a replication answers a reply, and is put in by the plaintiff. Indenture: Pericles : Thal.

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For if a king bid a man be a villain, he is bound by the indenture of his oath to be one. Here Devecmon says that the oath of allegiance is referred to, and that use of indenture is entirely out of place, since one has nothing to do with the other, and since indenture must be a written conveyance, bargain, or contract.

Greenwood passes on this one, affirming his belief that Pericles was not authored by Shakespeare, but this example is also easily refuted. Contract, mutual engagement. G vij, We haue by indenture of Jesu. Furthermore, Sprague points out that Shakespeare uses indenture in its strict legal sense in Hamlet and I Henry IV , demonstrating that he was fully aware of its technical meaning Moiety: 1 Henry IV : Glend.

The archdeacon hath divided it Hot. Into three limites very equally. Methinks my moiety, north from Burton here, In quantity equals not one of yours. III—9, 91—2. Devecmon points out that a moiety is a half , not a third. In several other plays he uses the term figuratively to mean simply a portion rather than a half.

But it may be objected that in the case of Hotspur, the strict legal usage is called for. A close reading reveals that, in fact, Hotspur uses the term correctly. In fact Hotspur is speaking, not of his third, as compared to the other two men, but a smaller section of his third, which he is comparing to a smaller section belonging to Mortimer only. I do believe, Induced by potent circumstances, that You are my enemy, and make my challenge. You shall not be my judge. I do refuse you for my judge. Devecmon points out that challenge is applicable only to jurors, and that a judge is not subject to challenge.

Greenwood replies:. Here the same curious idea is apparent, viz. Well ratified by: Hamlet : Hor. In which our valiant Hamlet— For so this side of our world esteemed him— Did slay this Fortinbras; who by a sealed compact, Well ratified by law and heraldry, Did forfeit his life. Devecmon states that well ratified by means strictly in accordance with and is out of place here as a legalism.

Once again, he is being too absolute. Devecmon thinks the term can only be used in a strict legal meaning, but he is wrong. Jointress: Hamlet : Claud. Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen, The imperial jointress to this warlike State. Devecmon cites Co. The two have just married, and Shakespeare plays on the idea of that royal joining.

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Devecmon fails once again to look at the literary context, assuming that every use that appears to deviate from strict legal usage represents an error that no one trained in the law would commit. As we shall see, Clarkson and Warren criticize Devecmon for over-literalizing this speech.

So you grant pasture for me. Not so, gentle beast; My lips no common are, though several they be. This passage is commonly cited as an error. Devecmon admits that Shakespeare understood that one cannot both hold a thing in common and in severalty; he believes that Shakespeare sacrifices his knowledge for a mere play on words, something that one with legal training would not do.

Greenwood responds:. Common of pasture is, of course, a right of common with which lawyers are very familiar. Sonnet Sprague explains that this passage reflects a matter of taste, and that Shakespeare as a lawyer would certainly not perpetuate such puns. But for a dramatist, particularly this one, such terms invite punning in a scene like this. I here entail The crown to thee, and to thine heirs forever; Conditionally that thou here take an oath To cease this civil war. A gift to a man and his heirs, male or female, is an estate in fee simple and not in fee tail. Once again, we have an instance where the literal-minded lawyer assumes that only the strict legal definition was in common usage.

To bestow or confer as if by entail; to cause to descend to a designated series of possessors; to bestow as an inalienable possession. Here is another supposed error commonly cited. Devecmon thinks statutes is misused here to mean merely articles of agreement , since there is no such meaning in law. According to Greenwood, Shakespeare uses statutes in the sense of ordinances , as is usual in a college In this one case, Mr. Robertson, pausing in his constant assaults in The Baconian Heresy , explicitly agrees with Greenwood n.

By Richard Grant White - Richard Grant White

On the case: The Comedy of Errors : Adr. Why, man, what is the matter? Devecmon points out that there are two kinds of civil actions: those growing out of breach of contract and those for the recovery of wrongs independent of a contract.

William Shakespeare: Attorney at Law and Solicitor in Chancery - eBook

On the case applies to the former, but the statement here applies to the latter. However, Devecmon neglects to notice that this is a comedy with comedic characters who will, like Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing , mix their legal terms. Dromio is simply mixing up the usage. Sprague goes further, stating that the clown may simply be using on the case as in a suit or matter of law, rather than in an action of tort This interpretation works well since the passage can then participate in the wordplay on suit in the next few lines.

http://smtp.mail.ruk-com.in.th/zapatos-chica-10.php Testament: Henry V : Cant. For all the temporal lands, which men devout By testament have given to the church, Would they strip from us.

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Devecmon claims that testament is used incorrectly since it must refer to bequeathing personal property. A will is used for devising real estate. Must the Archbishop speak by the card too, or the writer be set down as no lawyer? But really this is but another example in support of the proposition that a little learning is a dangerous thing.

Hooper 2 Vesey Senior So that again Mr. To your heirs forever: Julius Caesar : Ant.

William Shakespeare: Attorney at Law and Solicitor in Chancery William Shakespeare: Attorney at Law and Solicitor in Chancery
William Shakespeare: Attorney at Law and Solicitor in Chancery William Shakespeare: Attorney at Law and Solicitor in Chancery
William Shakespeare: Attorney at Law and Solicitor in Chancery William Shakespeare: Attorney at Law and Solicitor in Chancery
William Shakespeare: Attorney at Law and Solicitor in Chancery William Shakespeare: Attorney at Law and Solicitor in Chancery
William Shakespeare: Attorney at Law and Solicitor in Chancery William Shakespeare: Attorney at Law and Solicitor in Chancery
William Shakespeare: Attorney at Law and Solicitor in Chancery William Shakespeare: Attorney at Law and Solicitor in Chancery
William Shakespeare: Attorney at Law and Solicitor in Chancery William Shakespeare: Attorney at Law and Solicitor in Chancery

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