Photo of legal scales and gavel

Siegal Lifelong Learning Program hosts series will explore legal themes in literature

Members of the Case Western Reserve University community are invited to join Terri Mester, professor of English, for an upcoming course offered through the Siegal Lifelong Learning Program.

Legal themes in literature reflect our fascination with a justice system that sometimes does not appear to be just. Great writers like Shakespeare, Melville, Kafka, among others, ask us to consider what happens when laws are not rational or punishments are unjust. In this interdisciplinary course, participants will explore topics related to legal justice, including the difference between the rule of law and equity, the relation between justice and punishment, and the status of justice in an unequal society. In doing so, they will understand how law and literature overlap in their emphasis on storytelling and interpretation, as well as how both cultivate a tolerance for ambiguity and complexity.

Readings will be:

  • The Stranger by Albert Camus;
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston 
  • Billy Budd by Herman Melville; and
  • Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare. 

Learn more about the series.