Selecting the Memory, Controlling the Myth: The Propaganda of Legal Foundations in Early Modern Drama

Injustice, Memory, and Faith in Human Rights (K Chainoglou & B Collins, eds) (Ashgate, 2016 Forthcoming)

Queen Mary School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 214/2016

37 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2016 Last revised: 22 Oct 2016

Eric Heinze

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law

Date Written: January 14, 2016

Abstract

Political mythology is always a reconstruction of historical memory. That process becomes crucial at times of systemic political and legal re-constitution. We witness such a political moment in Western Europe in the late 16th and 17th centuries with the emergence of political modernity and the nation state. It is no accident that, in those years, theatre becomes a dominant art form, in which historical memory becomes ritually re-enacted to crystallise the political and social myths which will furnish European legal regimes with value systems. The Shakespearean Henry IV: Part One and The Tempest, along with Jean Racine’s Andromaque, are examined as evidence for that transformation from memory into myth, and history into normativity.

Keywords: comparative law, comparative literature, law & literature, law & memory, law & Shakespeare, legal history, legal theory

Suggested Citation

Heinze, Eric, Selecting the Memory, Controlling the Myth: The Propaganda of Legal Foundations in Early Modern Drama (January 14, 2016). Injustice, Memory, and Faith in Human Rights (K Chainoglou & B Collins, eds) (Ashgate, 2016 Forthcoming) ; Queen Mary School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 214/2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2715696

Eric Heinze (Contact Author)

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law ( email )

67-69 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London, WC2A 3JB
United Kingdom

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