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Chivalry, one of Shakespeare's central themes, retains its pertinence and topicality in our rules for international humanitarian law and the conduct of war. Against a background of Medieval and Renaissance sources as well as Shakespeare's historical and dramatic realms, Professor Meron considers the ways in which law, chivalry, morality, conscience, and state necessity are deployed in Shakespeare to promote a society in which soldiers behave humanely and leaders are held to high standards of civilized behavior. In doing so, he illustrates the literary genealogy of such contemporary international humanitarian concerns as the treatment of prisoners and of women and accountability for war crimes. An insightful consideration of modern humanitarian law as seen from the perspectives of both Shakespeare and history, Bloody Constraint will also interest students of Medieval and Renaissance studies.