Representing Justice: Stories of Law and Literature : The Great Courses: English Literature

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Susan Sage Heinzelman
  • Series: The Great Courses: English Literature
  • 12 hrs and 1 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

What is the dynamic relationship between our culture's written and unwritten laws and its literature? How is that relationship evolving? How do law and literature influence or reflect one other? And what lessons might we draw from their symbiotic relationship?
This 24-lecture series from a much-honored teacher approaches these questions with provocation and passion as it explores the rhetorical and philosophical connections that link these two disciplines, moving through ancient Greece, the Middle Ages, England's experience of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, and the 19th and 20th centuries. Focusing on individual works of literature where law - implicit or explicit - is a central theme, as well as on the overall relationship between law and literature in society, Professor Heinzelman shows how that relationship gradually transformed, from the astoundingly intricate cross-connections between law and literature still present during the time of Shakespeare, to a point in the mid-18th century when the two disciplines separated more clearly into the distinct realms we recognize today.
The crucial period from the late 17th to the 19th century - during which that separation evolved and solidified - draws her sharpest focus, with the literature of the time, including some of the most famous and influential works ever put to paper, offering a profound perspective on that era's structures and values as well as an enduring impact we still feel today.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great insights into relevant books and topics.

Would you listen to Representing Justice: Stories of Law and Literature again? Why?

Yes. Professor Heinzelman knows her topic and presents it well. The way society uses (and deals with) laws and bureaucracy is relevant to anybody in the 21st century. It's interesting to explore what the great authors have to say.


What was one of the most memorable moments of Representing Justice: Stories of Law and Literature?

The lectures on Huck Finn and Jane Austen were great, but the lectures on Bleak House and Kafka, and how Kafka built on Dickens, were the best.


What does Professor Susan Sage Heinzelman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Insights and context.


Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Made me think. Made me notice things in the books, and in real life.


Any additional comments?

Seems like an underrated and important topic. Well presented.

Read full review

- Brian Keairns

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses