The Absolute King Lear Essay Research Paper — страница 3

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give away some of her land (Foakes 17). They tell her that land is not personal property to give away, but is property of the state (Foakes 17). According to them, the only way to dispose of land is by a formal letter sealed with the monarch?s patent (Foakes 17). In other words, the monarch is limited and must ask for permission before distributing land. Elizabeth is obviously not an absolute monarch and will never be. However, in King Lear, land and power are divided and given away, without the king having to seek counsel. His word is law. In Shakespeare?s play, Lear is an absolute king, but the real rulers of England at that time try to make the same claim. This is especially true for James I and the rulers that followed him. Can the rulers of England ever be absolute when they

must answer to a Parliament? Perhaps Shakespeare is trying to point that they cannot when he writes about King Lear, a king who is able to do things that James I would never had been allowed to do. Shakespeare tells them that, unlike Lear, the rulers of England can never be absolute. King Lear serves as a warning for James and later followers, telling them that they can not rule over Parliament. This is a lesson they should have heeded, for later in the seventeenth century the monarchs fight for an absolute monarchy, but fail; just as Shakespeare said they would. Bibliography Butler, F.G. ?Lear?s Crown of Weeds.? English Studies 70 (1989): 395-407. Burgess, Glenn. Absolute Monarchy and the Stuart Constitution. New Haven: Yale UP, 1996. Foakes, R.A. Introduction. King Lear. By

William Shakespeare. Walton-on-Thames, UK: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1997. 1-151. Jordan, Constance. Shakespeare?s Monarchies. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1997. Nelson Greenfield, Thelma. ?The Clothing Motif in King Lear.? Shakespeare Quarterly 5 (1954): 281-286. Sommerville, J.P. ?Absolutism and Royalism.?. The Cambridge History of Political Thought 1450-1700. Ed. J.H. Burns. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1991. 347-373. Shakespeare, William. King Lear. Ed. R.A. Foakes. Walton-on-Thames, UK: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1997. Tennenhouse, Leonard. Power on Display. New York: Methuen, 1986. 333