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Judging Isabella : justice, care and relationships in Measure for Measure.

Rackley, Erika (2008) 'Judging Isabella : justice, care and relationships in Measure for Measure.', in Shakespeare and the law. Oxford: Hart Publishing, pp. 65-79.


This paper considers the story of Shakespeare’s Isabella – both within and outwith the narrative of Measure for Measure – as a lens through which to explore representations of the judge and judging. Taking criticisms of Isabella and her encounter with Angelo as its starting point and backdrop, it seeks to trouble the polarisation of justice and care – law and mercy – in traditional accounts of adjudication. Challenging the notion of the judge and judicial impartiality as necessarily unconnected to those she judges, the paper establishes Isabella as an icon – a focus for contemplation and reflection. So viewed, Isabella and her relationships with Angelo, Claudio, Mariana and the Duke, provide a window onto alternative conceptions of autonomy, relationship, justice and care and, in so doing, orientate the mind and imagination toward the re-conceiving of previous insights on adjudication and the possibilities of diverse understandings of the judge, judging and adjudication.

Item Type:Book chapter
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Record Created:14 Jul 2011 11:50
Last Modified:22 Jun 2012 16:35

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