Small Beer: A Felony.
Although little is known of the historical figure Jack Cade, Shakespeare had fun bringing him to life in the Henry VI trilogy. As he depicts it, Cade’s bumbling rebellion against the king in 1450 is chock full of political tropes that sadly still resonate today.
Cade is a man of the people, yet he pontificates about his royal lineage. He promises to foster universal brotherhood, yet aspires to be worshipped as “lord.” And he’s all for worker’s rights, so long as they work for free.
But when it comes to prosperity by fiat decree, nothing he says compares to the lunacy of outlawing small beers. That bears repeating: Small beers. Outlawed.
Sadly he never wins the throne, so we’ll never know what utopian dreams may come - where one is compelled to drink more, read less, and kill all the lawyers (we’ll save that last one for another day).
In our illustration, we combine a super-sized pint with the full legal force of “the law” - in this case a judge’s gavel which has smashed an inadequate drink.