Communal Justice in Shakespeare’s England: Drama, Law, and Emotion. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2021. Learn more on the publisher’s website.


“Jurisprudence by Aphorisms: Francis Bacon and the ‘Uses’ of Small Forms.” Law, Culture and the Humanities 18.3 (2022): 674–697. Print. First published Jan. 31, 2019. Abstract: The belief that Francis Bacon was, from the start, a stalwart defender of royal absolutism has prevailed in scholarship despite occasional comments about Bacon’s pluralist or collaborative legal and political imagination. Building on recent revisionist work, this article questions the standard historiography. It argues that Bacon’s jurisprudential outlook – particularly with respect to the question of legal authority – changed over the course of his career. A comparative analysis of his early and late legal writing clarifies the nature of the shift.

“On Judges and the Art of Judicature: Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 2.” Studies in Philology 114.1. (Winter 2017): 97-123. Print. Abstract: Authors of assize sermons and character books defined the character of a “good magistrate” as a “loving” father. In contrast, legal writing by lawyers suppressed the language of love and placed the emphasis on reason. This article investigates the resulting friction between professional and popular representations of judges and judicature and examines its impact on Shakespearean drama. In Henry IV, Part 2, Shakespeare explores the dissonance and irresolution within the cultural discourse on legal administration, and in so doing, expresses a tragic truth about the paucity of justice in a world consumed by law. (Download the PDF at MLA Commons)

“Before the Right to Remain Silent: The Examinations of Anne Askew and Elizabeth Young.” The Sixteenth Century Journal 43.3 (2012): 667-679. Print. Abstract. In recent years, Anne Askew has attained something of celebrity status among scholars of Tudor women’s writing and, more generally, of Tudor Reformation history. In the course of privileging Askew’s examinations above those of other female defendants (such as Elizabeth Young), scholars sometimes equate Askew’s rhetorical expertise with legal expertise. Thus, it has been argued that Askew knew the latest developments in Tudor legislation and used this knowledge to her advantage during her examinations. Was Askew aware of legal reforms? How did she and other Protestant defendants formulate their responses? These issues and other questions are addressed by comparing Askew’s defense to those of three other Protestants—Elizabeth Young, John Lambert, and William Thorpe. All four examinations appear in John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. All four defendants used the Bible to construct cogent arguments against, and critiques of, their examiners. From this, it is concluded that Protestant defendants such as Askew were highly skilled debaters, but not necessarily experts of Tudor law. (Download the PDF at MLA Commons)

A Portuguese translation of the article is now available thanks to Jony Clay Borges, Estudante de Direito da Universidade do Estado do Amazonas and Professor Daniel Aquino, Professor de Direito da Universidade do Estado do Amazonas. Read “Antes do direito de permanecer em silêncio: Os inquéritos de Anne Askew e Elizabeth YoungPDF here. I’m honored.

“‘He Only Talks’: Arruntius and the Formation of Interpretive Communities in Ben Jonson’s Sejanus.” Ben Jonson Journal 18.1 (2011): 126-140. Print. Abstract. This article examines the “soundscape” of trials, paying particular attention to the staging of the poetic figure of parrhesia or frank speech. After comparing the original quarto and folio copies of the playtext, I discovered that—contrary to modern formatting practices—Arruntius’s complaints during trial of his republican allies are set as regular speech, not as parenthetical “asides.” (Download the PDF at MLA Commons)


“Inns of Court” and “Trial by Jury.” Routledge Encyclopedia of the Renaissance World. Gen. ed. Kristen Poole; topics ed. Wendy Hyman. Forthcoming.

“John Marston” (3000 words), “Sir John Davies” (1000 words), “John Dowland”(1000 words). The Encyclopedia of English Renaissance Literature. 3 Vols. Ed. Garrett Sullivan et al. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. Print and online.


Rev. of Katherine Schaap Williams. Unfixable Forms: Disability, Performance, and the Early Modern English  Theater. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2021. Modern Philology. Forthcoming.

Rev. of Sonya Freeman Loftis. Shakespeare and Disability Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021. Renaissance Quarterly. Forthcoming.

Rev. of Regina Schwartz, Loving Justice, Living Shakespeare.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. Syndicate. Forthcoming.

Rev. of Elizabeth Scott-Baumann and Ben Burton, eds. The Work of Form: Poetics and Materiality in Early Modern Culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. Renaissance Quarterly 71.1 (2017): 401-2.

Rev. of Marissa Greenberg. Metropolitan Tragedy: Genre, Justice, and the City in Early Modern England. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2015. Renaissance Quarterly 69.3 (2016): 1188–1190.

Rev. of The Changeling. By Thomas Middleton and William Rowley. Director Joe Hill-Gibbins. Young Vic, London. 25 Feb. 2012. Cahiers Élisabéthains 81 (2012): 57-8. Print.

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