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 Shakespeare's 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 toward aspects of the laws of war.
This rich new study will be of interest and value not only to scholars of war, history, law, and literature, but also to anyone interested in this important period in the development of international humanitarian laws.
`Impressively realized ... he makes a refreshing contribution to the `conflicted arena' (is that the phrase ?) of Shakespeare studies.'
The Times Literary Supplement
`fascinating and scholarly book'
International and Comparative Law Quarterly
`there is no doubt that the depth of Meron's research, and his knowledge of medieval law, is both clear and impressive. Each chapter is rich in detail ... he provides numerous comparable examples from various contemporary medieval chronicles'
The Journal of Legal History
`An ambitious study of the law of war at the time of Henry V's Agincourt campaign ... much of the book is extremely clear and literally bursting with information concerning the laws of war in the fifteenth century ... Heavily researched and rife with detailed footnotes, this sometimes challenging work is an authoritative text which should remain a standard in the field of late medieval international law for some time to come.'
`'It is thought-provoking...the conclusions are important and well-sustained.''
Nottingham Medieval Studies XL
`'The book is likely to be of interest to the historian of war in the late Middle Ages, as well as to the student of the development of international law.''
English Historical Review
'It is never too late to write about an extraordinary book, such as the one authored by Theodore Meron ... what makes this book both extremely valuable as a piece of scholarly writing and an exciting reading for everybody is not only the topic - Shakespeare and the laws of war - but also the style.'
'Meron has explored the historical field very thoroughly, and the footnoting of the book is an undeniable prove... Meron masters his material with both scholarly strength and the charm of an essay writer... Meron's book is a milestone in both Shakespearean exegesis and the study of the law of war.'