Lawyer or Hit-Man: You Make the Call

Another thought from Rigoletto: there's an interesting line mid-way through Act III that I found myself laughing out loud to, for reasons only tangentially related to the play.

Some brief background on the situation: Scarafucile is an assassin who has been hired by Rigoletto to kill the Duke. The Duke has been lured to Scarafucile's inn by Scarafucile's sister, Maddalena, who has used her feminine wiles to seduce him and put him to sleep. However, in the process she has fallen in love with him, and is now pleading for her brother to spare the Duke's life. Her brother is having nothing of it; killing the Duke means 20 Ducats. Maddalena then suggests that Scarafucile could leave the Duke alive, wait for Rigoletto to return, then kill him and take his money. Scarafucile is outraged:

"Kill the Hunchback? What the devil are you thinking?
Am I a thief? Am I a robber?
I have never betrayed one of my clients!"

These lines, I feel, can be seen as showing the lawyerly code of professional responsibility distilled to its essence: Lie, cheat, omit, even if it means inflicting great harm, even unto death, to others, but never, ever betray your client!

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This page contains a single entry by Zach published on November 3, 2006 12:57 AM.

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