Divine Right Of Kings: What It Is

757 words - 3 pages

The Divine Right of kings: What is it? The divine right of kings is the belief that monarchs or rulers received their rights to rule directly from God, so that all of their actions and decisions were supposedly derived straight from God. The wishes of God were uppermost; the consent and wishes of the people and subjects was rarely ever taken into consideration. A monarch was a direct representative of God. It was believed that a king had to have godly virtues in order to rule properly. The people firmly believed that it was up to God to punish a wicked king, and not up to the people to take matters into their own hands. As far as the people were concerned, the king could do no wrong because if he could make it to the throne, he was "the chosen one". Therefor if the king decided to be evil, then so be it, the Lord would deal with that. They believed that God was omniscient, forever watching for an unfit king that would receive his just rewards when judgment day comes.When was it predominant? The idea of the divine right was at its highest point in England and Scotland when the House of Stuart reigned. The French also followed this dictum, especially during the rule of Louis XIV. The Stuarts ruled England and Scotland during most of the 1600's and early 1700's. They were harsh, undemocratic rulers without thought for the people. They only thought of themselves. The first Stuart to rule England was James IV of Scotland. After becoming King he change his tittle to James I of England.The Divine Right of Kings in Shakespeare's Work Shakespeare's time (1564-1616) fell right into the time of Stuart rule, therefore the firm belief in the Divine Right had a lot of influence in his work. It is interesting to note that although Macbeth was an evil king, the people didn't let God punish him, but chose instead to dethrone Macbeth themselves, where as the belief of the time was that God would be the ultimate nemesis. This belief was an anachronism, because in the time Macbeth ruled, the divine right was not yet established, but he...

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