King Lear Essay

6643 WordsApr 11, 201227 Pages
Stevie Meng English IV Mr. McNally Research paper: Final paper May 10, 2010 William Shakespeare wrote a the play, King Lear, in 1603 during the reign of James I of England. King Lear mirrors James and the other characters in the play, represent the real people and events happening in Shakespeare’s time in England. The kings Lear and James I, (1603-1625 and having been king James VI of Scotland from 1567.) Both have authority. Authority which is over their family, kingdom and countrymen, but they might have too much authority or power because it might be fun to have it now but according to Lord Acton “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupt absolutely.” Shakespeare’s King Lear dramatizes the proper role of the King and his authority. The Kings Lear and James I are both men in positions of power both in the play and in the real world. They both have roles within the kingdom both in the play and in the real world but exactly is their proper role as king? First it must be considered what a king is, and what his proper role should be. According to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, a king is a male monarch of a major territorial unit; especially: one whose position is hereditary and who rules for life. A story of the divine right of kings, which is the theory; rooted in the medieval idea that God bestowed the king’s power upon them this mirrors the spiritual power and authority God gives to the Church. The theory of divine right justified the king’s authority in both political and church matters. In England, where this theory came to the fore under James I of England, James held this as “The most high and sacred order of the king is of Divine right, being the ordinance of God himself, found in the prime law of nature, and clearly established by express texts both of the Old and New Testaments.” King Lear also held this belief. The role that

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