In July 2007, the School of Law at the University of Warwick hosted an international conference on 'Shakespeare and the Law'. This was a truly interdisciplinary event, which included contributions from eminent speakers in the fields of English, history, theatre and law. The intention was to provide a congenial forum for the exploration, dissemination and discussion of Shakespeare's evident fascination with and knowledge of law, and its manifestation in his works.
The papers included in this volume reflect the diverse academic interests of participants at the conference. The eclectic themes of the edited collection range from analyses of the juristic content of specific plays, as in 'Consideration, Contract and the End of The Comedy of Errors', 'Judging Isabella: Justice, Care and Relationships in Measure for Measure', 'Law and its Subversion in Romeo and Juliet', 'Inheritance in the Legal and Ideological Debate of Shakespeare's King Lear' and 'The Law of Dramatic Properties in The Merchant of Venice', to more general explorations of Shakespearean jurisprudence, including 'Shakespeare and Specific Performance', 'Shakespeare and the Marriage Contract', 'The Tragedy of Law in Shakespearean Romance' and 'Punishment Theory in the Renaissance: the Law and the Drama'.
Paul Raffield is an Associate Professor in Law at Warwick University.
Gary Watt is Reader and Associate Professor in Law at Warwick University.
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