Presentation on theme: "1 I Elizab. v James A I. Ideals of Sovereignty: Elizabeth v. James effective sovereignty, esp. re challenges to royal authority history plays focus."— Presentation transcript:
1 I Elizab. v James A I. Ideals of Sovereignty: Elizabeth v. James effective sovereignty, esp. re challenges to royal authority history plays focus so far, king’s 2 bodies, the Henriad provides a more optimistic, heroic view of sovereignty with the tragedies... not so much Queen Eliz. I’s style of rule (1558–1603) theatrical, she enjoyed being among her people always at center of an elaborate spectacle she’s always playing a role, as advised by Machiavelli her visibility is a means of fostering intimacy with her people political rhetoric of kinship, as a mother to her citizens also appropriates chivalric language of love and devotion, “Cult of Elizabeth” at the end of her reign: great anxiety about the succession Chart Week 14 / Lecture 1 Thursday effective sovereignty, esp. re challenges to royal authority addressed in Hamlet, Meas. For Meas. – significant ques. re proper rule history plays also imp. -- more optimistic, heroic view of sovereignty with the tragedies... not so much
2 I Elizab. v Jam es B I. Ideals of Sovereignty: Elizabeth v. James Transition to King James I (1603–1625) 1606 when King Lear is performed, James has been on throne for 3 years he has also been King of Scotland since 1587, he’s not new to the job thus a very reassuring person to take the seat of power he’s male, seasoned ruler, an adult, he has a male heir BUT... style of rule is very different from Elizabeth, a bit alienating AND... he is Scottish and thus an “outsider,” an Other Chart Week 14 / Lecture 1 Thursday effective sovereignty, esp. re challenges to royal authority addressed in Hamlet, Meas. For Meas. – significant ques. re proper rule history plays also imp. -- more optimistic, heroic view of sovereignty with the tragedies... not so much
3 Scottish, ethnically inferior to the English accent means speaking publicly is a problem small in stature, physically awkward, perhaps lame believed to be an alcoholic very fond of attractive young men, or “favorites” rule II James’ style of rule II. King James I’s style of rule not based on highly public, theatrical presentation of the monarch “mystification”: King Henry IV’s advice: better to conceal oneself, avoid having too much contact with the common people make royal power seem mysterious & inaccessible problems of his “Otherness” or alienness: THUS... he was very far from the iconic, disciplined, physically invulnerable sovereign, etc. III. King James I’s Theory of Kingship Chart divine right: the idea that the king is God’s representative on earth Week 14 / Lecture 1 Thursday
4 III. Divine Right / Absolutism (1) theory of “divine right” Basilikon Doron: his political treatise, guide for his son, Prince Henry the idea that the king is God’s representative on earth neither Parliament nor the people can remove a king from power kingship must therefore be inherited, cannot be elected or chosen bloodlines become the primary means of determining who has the right to inherit political rule (which is more complicated than it seems) III. King James I’s Theories of Kingship Chart (2) monarchical absolutism consequence of the first doctrine: the king’s authority is absolute optimistic view: his powers are “perfect, complete, unrestricted” we should be able to rely on that since he IS God’s appointed he is also above the law, Parliament cannot restrict his powers realistic view: some kings turn out to be tyrants, financially irresponsible, but... they are still divinely authorized the people must simply suffer his tyranny or bad rule he may be the sign of God’s displeasure with a particular nation Week 14 / Lecture 1 Thursday
5 IV. Analogies of Rule divine modelpoliticalmaritalfamilialanatomical (cosmos) God humankind (commonwealth) King English people (domestic) husband wife (household) father/master children & servants (body) head, mind body Week 14 / Lecture 1 Thursday
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