Divine Right of Kings Richard Ii

Topics: Monarchy, Sovereignty, Mandate of Heaven Pages: 2 (528 words) Published: September 20, 2010
A key aspect to understanding Acts III and IV in Richard II is the divine right of kings and how God deeply impacts these characters decisions and actions. The king is supposedly chosen by God himself and is ideally a figure of a natural born leader and warrior. Naturally, since England was predominately Catholic at the time, going against God in any way was unacceptable. The people were to trust the King and not question his decisions, for they were God's will and decisions as well. There is also a deep sense of content by the characters that God will sort out all of their disputes by choosing sides and the righteous will reign.

In Act I Gaunt says, "God's is the quarrel/for God's substitute/ His deputy anointed in His sight/ Hath caused his death." (37-39) referring to the fact that God gave Richard the power and Richard plotted with Mowbray in Gloucester's death, thus God had a hand in Gloucester's death for whatever reason. Gaunt continues to say "the which if wrongfully,/Let heaven revenge; for I may never lift/An angry arm against his minister." (39-41), further instilling the faith that God will handle what's right and that it's not his place to intervene.

We've witnessed throughout the play King Richard's pompous attitude about his kingship. In Act II Scene II the ideals of God are furthered as we continue to see Richard's downfall (and humbling) and Bolingbrook's up rise as the new king. Carlisle compounds the ideal of God and His choice to give and take the divine right by stating, in lines 27-30, "Fear not, my lord. That power that made you king/Hath power to keep you king in spite of it all,/The means that heavens yield must be embraced/And not neglected...". Richard continues this ideal by stating in lines 59-61, "To lift shrewd steel against our golden crown,/God for his Richard hath in heavenly pay/A glorious angel. Then, if angels fight,/Weak men must fall; for heaven still guards the right." The main ideals in this excerpt is "his...
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