Legal Inquiry and the Evidentia of Shakespearean Drama
The investigation of the legal dimensions of Shakespeare's plays begets a certain question: are we ready to see the characters in these plays as vividly realized human beings? The capability to do so seems to be dependent upon a specific synergy between the cultures of dramatic composition and legal inquiry in the late sixteenth century. The 1590s and 1600s brought to the world a kind of theatrical realism that is based not on the realm of visibility—what is seen or enacted on stage—but on the use of the generativity of inference and conjecture: the ability to work imaginatively with the hidden, causal, or motivational elements of dramatic action which can be derived from dialogue and narrative. This chapter wishes to address this topic by focusing on what Marjorie Garber terms the “unscene.”
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