Thursday, November 17

Hamlet At Law

The other day my son’s class went to see a production of Hamlet that was being performed by the students of a law school. At first this seemed somewhat blasphemous to me, since Shakespeare is famously known to have written “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”.

Upon further consideration, however, I became intrigued by the thought of Hamlet as presented by a group of lawyers – or almost-lawyers as the case may be. James Thurber once wrote of Macbeth as a murder mystery. How would Hamlet be as a legal drama? Sort of Law & Order, ECU (Elsinore Castle Unit).
To sue, or not to sue: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of gross negligence,
Or to file suit against a deep pocketed target,
And by litigation ameliorate the damages?
To mediate: perchance to settle out of court: ay, there's the rub;
For in that settlement what proceeds may come
When we have dropped the charges,
Must give us pause.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love - not to mention mental anguish -
Without at least trying
To make a killing in the courtroom.

Of course those in the legal trade - and I suppose some thin-skinned Shakespearian scholars - may object to this flight of fancy.

I have only one thing to say to them.

Objection overruled.

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