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Early modern Britain witnessed a transformation in legal reasoning about human volition and intentional action, which contributed to new conventions and techniques for the theatrical representation of premeditated conduct. Theaters of Intention examines the relation between law and theater in this period, reading plays by Shakespeare, Jonson, Marlowe, and others to demonstrate how legal understanding of willful human action pervades sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English drama.;Drawing on case law, legal treatises, parliamentary journals, and theatrical account books, the author considers the interplay between theatrical deliberation and legal dramatization of human intention. He analyzes such canonical plays as Hamlet, Timon of Athens, Dr. Faustus, Bartholomew Fair, and Othello alongside less familiar texts, including Barnes s The Devil s Charter, Jonson s Entertainment at Althorp, and the anonymous Nobody and Somebody.