The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers. You’ve probably heard that oft-quoted line from Shakespeare, and you may have even thought it or said it yourself. Well, sorry to disappoint you but when Shakespeare penned that famous line it seems he meant it as a compliment to lawyers. To find the line, we turn to Henry VI, Part 2, where we find the rebel Jack Cave with his followers Dick, the butcher, and Smith, the weaver. Jack is discussing his plan to become king, which he could only pull off after he killed all those who stood in his way. Jack calls for his followers to make him king, whereupon Dick, the butcher, says well, the first thing we do is let’s kill all the lawyers. Scholars say Shakespeare actually meant the line as a compliment to lawyers and judges who protect people from tyranny and anarchy. Jack goes on to complain about the skin of an innocent sheep, which being scribbled over, should undo a man. Three centuries later, it’s paper instead of parchment and emails instead of scribbles. But as for lawyers, let’s quote a little Longfellow who said, things are not always as they seem.
THIS IS NEIL CHAYET LOOKING AT THE LAW™
King Henry VI, Part 2, Act 4, Scene 2, Line 73