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Shylock on Trial: The Appellate Briefs (Chicago Shorts) Kindle Edition
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Start with Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, famous for the story of the young Venetian Bassanio, desperate to woo beautiful Portia but with insufficient money to impress her, who turns to the his friend Antonio and subsequently the moneylender Shylock, reaching an agreement on a loan for the money with the provision that Antonio will give up a 'pound of flesh' if he forfeits on the loan.
Bringing this story into a context suitable for both readers interested in legal works as well as those fascinated by Shakespeare, no less than judge Richard Posner, said to be the "most cited legal scholar of the 20th century" (by the Journal of Legal Studies as cited in the wiki article on Posner) together with Charles Fried, law professor at Harvard Law School.
This short kindle book consists of two essays, the first by Posner entitled 'Law and Commerce in The Merchant of Venice" which gives his portrayal of an appellate judge in sixteenth-century Venice who is considering Shylock's appeal. Posner writes his opinion based upon the law as described in the Shakespeare play, which he describes as an amalgam of late-sixteenth-century English law and imaginary Venetian law.
He also effectively portrays the thinking of sixteenth-century Venice with respect to Jews, considered as aliens (outsiders; non-citizens), whereas Venice is a Christian state where good judges 'know that Christianity is the only true faith'.
Following the Posner essay, Fried's piece, entitled "Opinion, Concurring in the Judgment", similarly takes us through his analysis of the legal arguments in a formal way that will likely be appreciated most by those well versed in the law but can be enjoyed by non-lawyers willing to put a reasonable effort into following the reasoning.