Monthly Archives: April 2013

On Legal Judgment

Legal Judgment

Legal Judgment

Law is filled with legal jargons and bizarre words.

Lawyers love to use archaic Latin phrases like caveat emptor, nudum pactum, and res ipsa loquitur to spice up their submissions. Law students use words in their legal context, so that ordinary words like ‘considerations’ mean not careful thought or factor but a specific legal meaning: ‘promise by one party to a contract that constitutes a price for which he buys the promise of the other’ (Oxford Dictionary of Law). Law also preserves some old English and so, for example,  the contract is not binding  for ‘want of authority’ which just means ‘lack of authority’ (see Shakespeare’s For Want of Nail)

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Orientalism in Lawrence of Arabia

T.E Lawrence and Sherif Ali

T.E Lawrence and Sherif Ali

The East is distant, mysterious and sensual. An archetypical oriental picture would have been an Indian Raj lying comfortably on the soft Turkish carpet, drinking wine in a silver jeweled cup and watching a group of young thinly dressed Indian women performing belly dance. Another typical oriental picture might be a group of Arab nomads ridding on camels in the limitless golden desert. At night, they set – up a little camp fire whose flames compete with the glow of the night’s multitude of stars. The little children surround the fire and listen to the old wise man narrating ancient tales that his grandfather has told him when he was small.

Lawrence of Arabia is a film like this. Its sheer scale is breathtaking. It spans for 4 whole hours, including a 15 minute intermission. Yet, it achieved immense success, winning 7 Oscar Awards and being considered as one of the greatest epic films. Part of the reasons, I believes, lies in its exploration of the exotic Arabia.

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