Download Memory, Imagination, Justice: Intersections of Law and by David Gurnham PDF

By David Gurnham

During the inventive use of literary research, "Memory, mind's eye, Justice" offers a severe and hugely unique dialogue of up to date issues in felony legislations and in addition in bioethics. writer David Gurnham makes use of well known and classical texts, by way of authors together with Shakespeare, Dickens, Euripides, Kafka, the Brothers Grimm, Huxley and Margaret Atwood to shed clean gentle on such arguable felony and moral concerns as passionate murder, lifestyles sentences, baby pornography and genetic enhancement. Gurnham's overarching subject is the function of reminiscence and mind's eye in shaping criminal and moral attitudes. alongside this line, the publication examines the ways that earlier wrongs are 'remembered' and will be forcefully replied to, either via the felony justice process itself and likewise through contributors responding to what they regard as gross insults, threats or own violations. the amount additional discusses the function of mind's eye as an inventive strength at the back of felony reform, when it comes to the definition of legal habit and the prospective destiny improvement of the legislations. those principles supply an invaluable and hugely unique viewpoint on modern problems with crime and society as they resonate either in criminal and literary dialogue.

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Extra info for Memory, Imagination, Justice: Intersections of Law and Literature

Sample text

In Goforth v State, the defendant, heard that his former lover was spending the evening with her husband with whom she had begun reconciliation since her relationship with Goforth. Goforth armed himself and drove to the man’s house. He spied on the couple for some hours until they began having sexual intercourse, at which point Goforth fired at them through the window, killing the man. On appeal against his murder conviction, the court held that the jury were entitled to find, as they did, that Goforth’s preparation and lying in wait indicated that the killing had not in truth been provoked in the spirit of the the question of provocation open to the jury since there was no evidence of a sudden and temporary loss of self-control at the relevant moment.

Through the doubts about the Ghost’s identity, the purpose and meaning of his message and its effects on Hamlet and those around him, Shakespeare’s play urges us to be reflective about our responses to apparently hot blooded violence. In order for Hamlet to carry out the killing of his uncle with any degree of moral propriety he must do it in hot blood; but Hamlet’s justified doubts about the identity and the message of the Ghost force him (and the viewer of the play) to be constantly reflective about the task in hand, contradicting and stymieing the heating of the blood.

This view of the morally ambiguous Ghost as a warning about the danger of recognizing killings committed on the basis of news is supported by allusions in the text to an unwholesome comparison between the appearance of the Ghost and the birth of Christ. At the Ghost’s first appearance the guard Barnardo refers to the appearance of a star, but whereas the star that appeared to announce Christ’s birth had been seen in the east, this one is seen in the western sky (I, i, 39). Cherrell Guilfoyle’s (1990, 21–4) work on English folk traditions has shown that Shakespeare’s audience will almost certainly have been reminded of traditional pageant performances of the nativity that had been a popular annual event in English towns since the Middle Ages.

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