Henry's Wars and Shakespeare's Laws: Perspectives on the Law of War in the Later Middle Ages / Edition 1

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Shakespeare's Henry V has traditionally been acclaimed for its impressive depiction of the psychological and political impact of warfare, and it remains one of the most widely-discussed plays in the canon. In this highly original, scholarly, and thought-provoking study Professor Meron uses rare medieval ordinances and other medieval and Renaissance historical and legal sources to provide challenging new contexts for Shakespeare's famous play. The result is a gripping account of how Henry V and other 'Histories' dramatically articulated complex medieval and Renaissance attitudes to warfare and the conduct of nations and individuals in time of war. The author uses the play and the campaign itself as a frame for the examination of the medieval laws of war, and examines stability and change in attitudes towards the laws of war.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Extraordinary....Meron's work deserves to be celebrated by those interested in restraints on war.... Meron's comparisons between the fifteenth and twentieth centuries are bold and challenging....Henry's Wars illuminates its various subjects in a brilliant...way....By delving into the past, Meron reminds his contemporaries that standards in the use of armed force must be part of culture, not the exclusive property of legal specialists. and enlivens a subject that can easily seem arcane."--Adam Roberts in American Journal of International Law

"A refreshing contribution to the "conflictual arena" of Shakespeare studies."--Times Literary Supplement

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198258117
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 12/28/1993
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

New York University School of Law and The Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva
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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 The Legal Environment 7
3 The War of Rights: Just War - Jus ad Bellum and Jus in Bello 17
4 Declarations of War and Truce Agreements 47
5 Responsibility of Princes 64
6 The Siege of Harfleur and Treatment of Occupied Territory: The Limits of Protection 75
7 Henry's Challenge to the Dauphin: The Duel that Never Was and Games of Chivalry 131
8 Medieval and Renaissance Ordinances of War: Codifying Discipline and Humanity 142
9 Agincourt: Prisoners of War, Reprisals, and Necessity 154
10 Heralds, Ambassadors, and the Treaty of Troyes 172
11 Rebels 191
12 Conclusions 208
Index 217
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