Before the Law ! 1! Franz Kafka Before the Law Before the law sits a gatekeeper. To this gatekeeper comes a man from the country who asks to gain entry into the law. But the gatekeeper says that he cannot grant him entry at the moment. The man thinks about it and then asks if he will be allowed to come in sometime later on.
In the essay on Kafka cited above, Benjamin is not directly referencing “Before the Law,” although his analysis can readily be extended to that parable. In terms of “Before the Law” itself, we can say that the gatekeeper in some way fulfills the messianic function of that story in that he prevents the man from the country from having access to the Law.