Shakespeare's Hal In "henry Iv" As The Prototypical Machiavellian Prince? An Analysis
Studienarbeit aus dem Jahr 2014 im Fachbereich Englisch - Literatur, Werke, Note: 2,0, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (Department für Anglistik und Amerikanistik), Veranstaltung: Shakespeare's Histories, Sprache: Deutsch, Abstract: This paper aims to show how Shakespeare portrays Hal as the prototypical Machiavellian prince - legitimizing him as the true king. In order to prove that, I will first look at Hal's situation at the beginning of 1 Henry IV, then move on to his staged reformation, and lastly discuss how he uses the advice given by Machiavelli in "The Prince".§§How do you justify a monarchy? Usually it is through the divine right of kings and the belief that they are sent by god to rule in his name on earth. The question remains however, how the rule of a king can be justified if he cannot look back on a long line of royal ancestors or came to power through force and by deposing the rightful king. This question of legitimacy greatly concerned the Italian politician Niccoló Machiavelli in his most famous work "The Prince", tying to establish guidelines on ensuring stability of a new ruler. Simultaneously, four of Shakespeare's Histories engage greatly with the theme of legitimacy. This paper analyses the portrayal of Henry IV's son Hal in this respect.
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