Tag Archives: Divine Right

Kingship as Divine Right in Shakespeare’s King Richard 11 (Published)

Shakespeare’s King Richard II is not a great man, rather a little, or quite ordinary one. Shakespeare himself dwells as attentively as the royal blood comes and goes in the face with his rapid changes of fortune. Through King Richard II, Shakespeare shows us though anointed, but a man guilty of his uncle’s murder which culminates in the usurpation of his throne by his cousin Bolingbroke, Henry IV. So, it is about the fall and deposition of a righteous king which is exposed through various imageries. Despite having weakness, and misrule, the uprising against him, his deposition and his death, Shakespeare points out that rebellion is a sin. He has given importance to order or discipline in nature, so as a king should keep himself aloof from flatterers and suppress the rebels to keep order and discipline in the country. The subjects should obey even a weak king otherwise they must suffer from nemesis or famine, epidemic or war fare. In this writing, I want to emphasize Shakespeare’s advocacy for divine right of kingship in King Richard II and to explore the ideal to be king as one who does his duty to God and to his country and who is also a man of spotless personal integrity .

Keywords: Divine Right, Kingship, Shakespeare’s King Richard