Associate Professor of Law at Lewis & Clark Law School. treachery in Shakespeare's King Henry VI shows - "The first thing we must do is kill all the lawyers," - the surest way to chaos and tyranny even then was to remove the guardians of independent thinking. Larry62. It isn't the line itself: "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers." His character, Dick the Butcher, in Henry VI, Part 2 (IV, ii) a rebel and aspiring tyrant proposes ''The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers,'' understanding lawyers (law and order) to be an impediment to his plans. As Daniel Kornstein explains in his book Kill All the Lawyers: Shakespeare's Legal Appeal: Measure for Measure is an ideal play for lawyers. Shakespeare Authorship 101Brush up your Shakespeare Authorship! ALL God save your majesty! The story, however, was a commonly told one throughout Europe and was not unique to Brooks either. People have argued for centuries about whether Shakespeare's dialogue about killing all the lawyers is extoling or condemning those who practice law. What was the context? Favorite Answer. The Eagles from "When Hell Freezes Over"-Dio Many people get it wrong about one of Shakespeare’s most famous quotes, the one about lawyers. Have you ever tried an online Shakespeare translator? “Let's kill all the lawyers”: What did Shakespeare mean? Today is National Voter Registration Day! If ye kill before midnight be silent and wake not the woods with your bay, Lest ye frighten the deer from the crop and thy brothers go empty away. CADE I thank you, good people: there shall be no money; all shall eat and drink on my score; and I will apparel them all in one livery, that they may agree like brothers and worship me their lord. wherefore art thou Romeo?" -- John Sterling While I may tell a lawyer joke or two on occasion (like what do you call a lawyer with an IQ of 100? Part of HuffPost News. See PHONECON … Women had little choice over who her husband would be. "Let's kill all the lawyers" is a line from William Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 2, Act IV, Scene 2. Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost's next chapter. In a particularly memorable scene, Tom Hanks’s character, Andrew Beckett, is lying on his deathbed. Famous Shakespeare Quote Although set in different times many of the most famous quotes about life and love by William Shakespeare are still relevant today. One of the earliest, and most well-known examples, appears in William Shakespeare’s Henry VI: “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”. Most people who quote this line have little idea of its surrounding context. What did Shakespeare mean with "...kill all the lawyers"?? 12, No. God save your majesty! Your Honor. Like several other phrases, this phrase was coined by William Shakespeare.Jacques has spoken this famous phrase in Act-II, Scene-VII of the play As You Like It. Although "Romeo and Juliet" is synonymous with William Shakespeare, in many regards, the play is … J.B. Hopkins concludes that Shakespeare’s line, “Let’s kill all the lawyers,” is, contrary to its facial meaning, a statement in praise of lawyers, not in derogation of them. In the play, the criminals know that for their plot to work, they'll have to get rid of lawyers. Attorney critics frequently allege that Shakespeare said “First, kill all the lawyers…”. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. The famous phrase, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers,” appears in Henry VI, Part 2, one of Shakespeare’s historical plays. Dick the butcher, a character no one remembers, utters one of the few memorable lines from the entire three-part Henry the Sixth cycle. They’re actually quite fun. While I may tell a lawyer joke or two on occasion (like what do you call a lawyer with an IQ of 100? They must be eliminated. Shakespeare Didn't Really Want To Kill All The Lawyers, But We Should Deregulate Their Profession George Leef Former Contributor Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Senator) I actually have a lot of respect for lawyers. At his side is his lawyer, Joe Miller, played by Denzel Washington. He is also being provocative. We’ve all heard the line: “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”. They all accept that the prince has a legitimate obligation to avenge his father’s murder and thus restore the status quo – the fact that the murderer is the sovereign himself leaves him no option but to take the law into his own hands to achieve through revenge what Bacon called ‘a kind of wild justice’. -- John Sterling "Lawyers Are": Those whose interests and abilities lie in perverting, confounding and eluding the law. 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