Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

15 Aug 2023, 13:12 p.m.

Shakespeare-Inspired Laws

So, some US states have "Romeo and Juliet laws" involving sexual contact among minors, but THIS BLOG ENTRY IS NOT ABOUT THAT, it is about the fact that I started thinking that a law nicknamed a "Romeo and Juliet law" ought to be prohibiting apothecaries from selling poisons! Or maybe prohibiting apothecaries from selling super confusing coma potions!

So Leonard and I started discussing: what other laws could we name after Shakespeare plays?

A King Lear law: mandating equality of inheritances for all heirs.

An Othello law: protection against secret accusations.

A Hamlet law: Food safety! Funeral meats cannot be reused to furnish a wedding table! [Leonard came up with this one and I loved it.]

A Two Gentlemen of Verona law: Minimum staffing. Verona must have at least two gentlemen on hand at all times.

A Macbeth law: Forest protections. Or: a person born via Caesarean section (including prematurely) is still, legally, the child of the person whose womb that was.

A Tempest law: a newly created island country must include, in its governing charter, basic protections and procedures that make the country compliant with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. [Also Leonard's.]

I'm extremely inexperienced with Shakespeare's histories so I'm like, "Uh, a Henriad law: before you go into battle you're entitled to get a really good speech."

(Here, have some decades-old Shakespeare-related humor I wrote for Leonard before we started dating.)


Jed Hartman
17 Aug 2023, 23:58 p.m.

Hee! Nice.

“Verona must have at least two gentlemen on hand at all times” made me laugh out loud.

20 Aug 2023, 1:40 a.m.

The law mandating hand-washing for restaurant employees could be named after Lady Macbeth.

The Henry IV law could forbid going without boots in foul weather.