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Humanities & Law: Shakespeare & Law

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Humanities & Law: Shakespeare & Law

Time: 6:00-8:00pm 

Dates: January 29, February 5, February 12, February 19, February 26, March 4

Continuing Legal Education Credits: 12.00 credit hours 

PD credit: DISD teachers are eligible for up to 12 hours of PD credit (6 x 2 hours of in-class time.) Teachers should be sure to check with their principals to be sure of this.

We live in a terribly philosophical time. Questions that once seemed merely academic are now of pressing public urgency, especially among lawyers and other judicial advocates. In the aftermath of recent social, political and juridical events, many are thinking now again about the law and about justice itself.

In this course, we will think about questions of law and justice while reading some of Shakespeare’s greatest works, as well as apposite US court cases and relevant writings of legal scholars, political philosophers, essayists, artists, etc. (See below for a list of Shakespeare plays.)

Relevant questions include:

What is justice? How does it relate to human nature? Is there a natural justice? A natural law? To what degree can law promote justice? How to resolve tensions between justice and mercy? How should we think about legal ethics? How should laws be read – literally or figuratively? Can law be neutral for all, or is its neutrality necessarily compromised by the interests of dominant social or political groups? What is the status of law in a constitutional crisis?


Michael McShane (Ph.D., Ancient Philosophy, University of Pennsylvania; BA, St John's College, Professor Emeritus, Carthage College), thinks and writes about the relationship between philosophy and literature.

Keshav Dimri (JD, Harvard University; BA, Stanford University) is an independent scholar focsing on constitutional praxis specialized in complex commercial and trial litigation, with a focus on direct court advocacy. He previously served as a Prosecutor in the Rockwall County District Attorney’s office, JD (JD in Law, Harvard University)

The following will be discussed in this course:

Midsummer Night's Dream, ISBN-13:978-0743477543

Merchant of Venice, ISBN-13: 978-0743477567

King Lear, ISBN-13:978-0743482769

The Tempest, ISBN-13:978-0743482837

Measure for Measure, ISBN-13: 978-0451527158

Hamlet, ISBN-13: 978-0743477123

**Please note that parking is not included in the price of the course. Free street parking is available along Routh Street or for purchase in the lot located at 2711 Routh Street.

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