CONTENTSPART ONEPrescribed for 1st year LL.B students (5-years course) Legal Themes in Literature1. The Merchant of Venice William Shakespeare 32 Joseph Andrews Henry Fielding 243. The Pickwick Papers Charles Dickens 334. Adam Bede George Eliot 745. Puddn 'head Wilson Mark Twain 85Legal Texts as Literature6. Apology Plato 1097. The Impeachment of Warren Hastings Lord Macaulay 1208. The Great Trial Mahatma Gandhi 1329. Roses in December M. C. Chagla 14310. The Interpretaion of Wills Mareva v. Lord Denning 170 International BulkcarriersStories of Crime: Rapid Reading11. The Cop and the Anthem O. Henry 18912. Murder Arnold Bennett 196No reference to the context questions will be set on Chapters 11 and 12.CHAPTER 1WILLIAM SHAKESPEAREThe Merchant of Venice (1594-1597)
Shylock's Lawsuit and the Law of ContractsGENERAL NOTE: The Merchant of Venice is one of Shakespeare's best known plays, often prescribed for student courses. Records show it was written some time between 1594 and 1597, and performed soon after.Dramatic literature before Shakespeare was still in its infancy. Today it is difficult to think of English drama without Macbeth, Othello, Lear, Hamlet, Measure for Measure, Twelfth Night etc.AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL NOTE: William Shakespeare (1564-1616), the greatest English playwright, is also referred to as the 'The Bard of Avon'. He was born at Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, England. Historical records show that sometime in the 1580's, he leftStratford and moved to London, where he became an actor. Besides his acting stints and assistance in theatre management, he went on to write thirty-seven plays, in addition to several poems and sonnets.It is uncertain what his father did. Records show he reared sheep, so it is possible he mayhave been a wool dealer or a glove maker.ABOUT THE PLAY: The play takes its title from Antonio the merchant, and not from Shylock who is also a merchant, but a Jew and the villain of the piece.The story starts with Antonio borrowing money from Shylock, as his dear friend Bassanio needs a loan. Antonio, in his desire to go to any extent for the sake of friendship, decides to borrow from Shylock, agreeing that the latter may have a pound of his flesh, if he should default. Antonio is sure that his ships, laden with their rich merchandise from various lands, will soon arrive safely and he will have no problem paying back Shylock immediately.In the meantime, Bassanio leaves for Belmont to try and win the hand of Portia, whose father has decreed that the man who chooses the right casket out of three (gold, silver and lead), one of which contains his daughter's portrait, shall win her hand in marriage. Bassanio chooses the right casket and wins Portia. Nerissa, Portia's maid-in-waiting, wins Gratiano, Bassanio's friend. Soon after this happy turn of events, Bassanio receives a letter from Antonio informing him of his heavy losses and the Jew's demand of a pound ofhis flesh.