Bloody Constraint: War and Chivalry in Shakespeare

Bloody Constraint: War and Chivalry in Shakespeare

by Theodor Meron, Theodor Meron
     
 

ISBN-10: 0195123832

ISBN-13: 9780195123838

Pub. Date: 12/28/1998

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

War is a major theme in Shakespeare's plays. Aside from its dramatic appeal, it provided him with a context in which his characters could discuss such concepts as honor, courage, patriotism, and justice. Well aware of the decline of chivalry in his own era, Shakespeare gave his characters lines calling for civilized behavior, mercy, humanitarian principles, and moral…  See more details below

Overview

War is a major theme in Shakespeare's plays. Aside from its dramatic appeal, it provided him with a context in which his characters could discuss such concepts as honor, courage, patriotism, and justice. Well aware of the decline of chivalry in his own era, Shakespeare gave his characters lines calling for civilized behavior, mercy, humanitarian principles, and moral responsibility. In this new book, eminent legal scholar Theodor Meron looks at contemporary international humanitarian law and rules for the conduct of war through the lens of Shakespeare's plays and discerns chivalry's influence there. The book comes as a response to the question of whether the world has lost anything by having a system of law based on the Hague and Geneva conventions. Meron contends that, despite the foolishness and vanity of its most extreme manifestations, chivalry served as a customary law that restrained and humanized the conflicts of the generally chaotic and brutal Middle Ages. Bloody Constraint will interest scholars of international law, lovers of Shakespeare, and anyone interested in the history of war.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195123838
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
12/28/1998
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.10(d)
Lexile:
1480L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

Introduction3
1Chivalry's Legacy11
2War and Peace16
3A Pagan Knight?: Shakespeare's Ancient Wars47
4The Homeric Wars through Shakespeare63
5The Brave or the Wise?: Two Conflicting Conceptions of Chivalric Honour97
6Chivalry as a Normative Ideal108
7Debunking Chivalry's Myth: Commoners, Fools, and Cynics119
8Principle under Stress132
9Crimes and Accountability150
Epilogue203
Index231

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