For the last twenty years, new historicism has encouraged the analysis of Renaissance literary texts as performances of power and subjection. But there has been no critical debate about how the specific workings of English juridical power and knowledge might relate to literary and theatrical forms. This collection is the first of its kind to attempt a more detailed analysis of the complex interdependencies of legal and literary discourses in Renaissance England. The essays in this collection approach key topics in current debates in Renaissance literature and culture from new and dazzlingly illuminating vantage points. Featuring here are essays on the unconscious spiritual repressions of the English common law; relations between authorship, censorship, treason and the common law; collusions between law and masculinity in theatre; legal discourses of homicide and sudden anger; women's voices in the revolutionary discourses of legal citizenship. Contributors include Peter Goodrich, Alan Stewart, Sue Wiseman and David Colcough amongst others, and these exciting original essays will be of interest to all students and scholars of Renaissance literary and cultural studies.