Henry Iv And Henry V By William Shakespeare

1602 Words7 Pages
In Henry IV and Henry V by Shakespeare, a father and son have diametrically different reigns as king. While both kings are politically savvy and gain the favor of the people, only one, Henry V, has the divine right of kings. The divine right of kings is the belief that power is instilled in them by God and rebellion against them is considered a sin. The influence of divine intervention is shown through the punishment and guilt of Henry IV and the success of Henry V. The rule of Henry IV illustrates the fate of one who seizes a crown that is not rightfully his by divine ordinance: a reign troubled with treason and uprisings. He does not have the right to rule because he has not obtained the crown through the law of primogeniture and therefore lacks the divine power imparted on those who gain the throne legitimately. Henry IV seems to have all of the right characteristics to be a successful king; however, he comes to the throne as an illegitimate ruler with the responsibility of the death of God’s chosen king, Richard II, on his shoulders. These actions cause Henry IV to incur the wrath of God against him and to have a reign plagued with conflict; his ambitiousness and political intelligence cannot fight back against the divine punishment inflicted upon him. His divine punishment dictates that he will have no peace in his rule. The instability of England when Henry IV becomes king is foreshadowed by Carlisle: “In this seat of peace tumultuous wars / Shall kin with kin and
Open Document