“The Rarer Action is in Virtue” – Tempest Part III

After the famous harpy scene mentioned at the end of my last essay, Prospero returns to Miranda and Ferdinand. He agrees to their marriage and gives it his blessing, and also frees Ferdinand from his labors. As a wedding present, Prospero uses his magic powers to summon spirits who then perform a play for the…

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First Remember – Then Hope: Tempest Part II

The great magician Prospero did create that might Tempest in Act I, but he did not kill anyone. Later, we happily read that they are safe on the desert island. Why did Prospero do this? What is his intention with the shipwrecked men? Well, the passengers of the boat were in fact the very men…

Texas v. Johnson

In 1984, during a protestation against Reagan administrative policies, Gregory Lee Johnson burned an American flag in front of the Dallas City Hall. He was tried in a Texas court and charged for desecration of the flag. After the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals reversed the conviction, the case was brought before the Supreme Court.…

The Play’s the Thing

"The play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king." Hamlet utters these lines at the end of Act II, when he comes up with a plan to determine the truth of the ghost's words. Once again, this line possesses a lot of significance and meaning into the inner workings of the prince Hamlet.…

Marbury v. Madison

The first time the Supreme Court ever exercised its power of judicial review was in the case of Marbury v. Madison. Judicial review is the right of the Supreme Court to declare laws passed by Congress to be null and void; if they contradicted or were in conflict with the Constitution. In 1789, Congress passed…

International Treaties and the UN Convention

What is the fundamental difference between the UN treaties and the treaties the Founding Fathers would have been familiar with? The Constitution allows us to make international treaties between countries, but there is a difference from the treaties the founding fathers were familiar with and those of today. Today we have things such as the…

Judicial Activism

"Judicial Activism: judicial rulings that are suspected of being based on personal opinion, rather than on existing law." A recent example of judicial activism is the 2010 Federal Sentencing Act: Before 2010, drug dealers would get different lengths of prison time for the amount/type of drugs in their possession. For instance, someone who had 5…