Presenter Information

Gaylie R. BowlesFollow

Content Category

Literary Criticism

Abstract/Description

Shakespeare was more than a sonneteer and playwright; he was a propagandist. He wrote plays that featured social and political concerns because he understood the powerful influence he could exert on his audience through his plays. In King Lear, Shakespeare is able to go a step further than merely mentioning social issues or even using theatre to legitimize the Tudor line. In this play he traces the origin of the authority of the English monarchs to its Christian roots. King Lear functions as a sort of allegory for the transfer of power that occurred when the Jewish leaders, blinded by pride, transgressed against their authority, failed to accept Christ and thus lost their divinely granted authority to the Gentiles, predecessors of the English monarchy. Thereby allowing Shakespeare to not only establish the legitimacy a line of kings but define the very roots of English monarchy’s authority.

Origin of Submission

as part of a class

Faculty Involvement

Dr. Gideon Burton, and Dr. Kristine Hansen

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Shakespeare’s King Lear: Establishing the Roots of the English Monarchy’s Divine Authority at the Expense of the Jews

Shakespeare was more than a sonneteer and playwright; he was a propagandist. He wrote plays that featured social and political concerns because he understood the powerful influence he could exert on his audience through his plays. In King Lear, Shakespeare is able to go a step further than merely mentioning social issues or even using theatre to legitimize the Tudor line. In this play he traces the origin of the authority of the English monarchs to its Christian roots. King Lear functions as a sort of allegory for the transfer of power that occurred when the Jewish leaders, blinded by pride, transgressed against their authority, failed to accept Christ and thus lost their divinely granted authority to the Gentiles, predecessors of the English monarchy. Thereby allowing Shakespeare to not only establish the legitimacy a line of kings but define the very roots of English monarchy’s authority.