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New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer

What Shakespeare Really Meant


nj lawyer

What did he
really mean?

In Henry VI, Part II, Act IV, Scene II, Dick, a butcher, said "[t]he first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."

Dick was a follower of Jack Cade. Cade, described by Shakespeare as a "rebel," desired to overthrow the English government and establish a dictatorship. Shakespeare describes Cade as "the head of an army of rabble and a demagogue pandering to the ignorant".

In all likelihood, Shakespeare meant this phrase as a tribute to lawyers. Cade and Dick understood that in order to deprive the English people of cherished rights, the lawyers stood against them and had to be destroyed.

In rephrasing the words of Dick the butcher, then, lawyers are an important component of any society based upon individual freedom. Today, the quote is often used as a derogatory comment in support of an attack against lawyers. Now you now know better!

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