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Different Views of Political Authority in Shakespeare's Works (Essay Sample)


This task discussed how William Shakespeare dramatized the different views of political authority, and divine right versus Machiavellian philosophies/ideas in his works. The paper illustrated how Shakespeare’s plays, histories, and tragedies (such as Richard II, Richard III, Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream) illuminate the different views of political authority. While some of his works such as Richard II favor the idea that a ruler derives the right to rule from divine (Biblical) authority, others such as Macbeth and Measure for Measure seem to argue that a ruler attains and maintains his or her political authority through Machiavellian methods such as plotting and political maneuvering. The paper gave specific examples of how these different views are portrayed in Shakespeare’s works.


Different Views of Political Authority in Shakespeare's Works 
William Shakespeare's plays take up political themes and the exercise of political authority. They are populated with kings, the immortals and queens that rule over peasants, mortals and wenches. The plays explore the idea of political authority and more critically, by what authority that those who rule dominate their subjects. On the one hand, the plays are focused around the socio-political idea that a ruler has the divine right to rule. On the other hand, some of Shakespeare's plays contain Montaigne and Machiavellian precepts of political authority as the dominating theme. 

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