Reflections on Shakespeare and the Rule of Law
William Shakespeare’s plays often consider fundamental questions of law and justice, and in several contexts Shakespeare floats elegant paeans to the rule of law. This is all the more striking because Shakespeare wrote when princes, such as Queen Elizabeth I and King James I, reigned with almost absolute power. This essay will touch on some of these passages1. The final section explores, in the context of the rule of law, Shakespeare’s most famous line concerning the legal profession, in which the suggestion is made that we should kill all lawyers.