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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: April ::
Re: Kingship by Decree
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0371.  Thursday, 28 April 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Linda Vecchi <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 27 Apr 1994 14:59:05 -0230 (NDT)
        Subj:   kingship by decree
 
(2)     From:   Al Cacicedo <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 27 Apr 1994 14:32:08 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   RE: SHK 5.0370  Q: Kingship by Decree
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Linda Vecchi <
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Date:           Wednesday, 27 Apr 1994 14:59:05 -0230 (NDT)
Subject:        kingship by decree
 
To Barabara Simerka, within the context of Shakespeare's history plays the
Henry plays show the dominance of oral presentation over petition. In the
opening scene of <Richard II> Gaunt and Bolingbroke stand before the king and
the combantants are Richard announces "Call them to our presence" (1.1.14).
<Henry IV, 1 and 2> still offer physical presence before the king as the
regular mode of address.  The same is generally true of <Henry V>.  The
heightened dramatic nature of these physical presentations before the monarch
rather than the mere reading of a petition seem obvious.  In <Henry V> however
there is  some suggestion of the significance of written communications to the
king: ie Bedford's line in 2.2 "The King hath note of all that they intend,/By
interception which they dream not of."
 
To move to the "real" monarchs of the Tudor period I am on thinner ground,
although Elizabeth certainly received numerous petitions.  During the 16th and
17th centuries petitions seem most commonly to have been directed to
Parliament, rather than to the monarch, such as Robert Waldegrave's (?) <The
Cry and Complaint of the Commonalty of this Lande, by waye of Supplication, to
the Right Honourable Assembly of the High Court of Parliament to Provide by Law
a Godly Learned Ministry.> (1585)
 
I'm sure others will have more to say on the matter.
 
Linda Vecchi
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(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Al Cacicedo <
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Date:           Wednesday, 27 Apr 1994 14:32:08 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 5.0370  Q: Kingship by Decree
Comment:        RE: SHK 5.0370  Q: Kingship by Decree
 
*Richard II* certainly registers a change in the way that kingship is
conceived.  *Macbeth*, on the other hand, makes reference (perhaps nostalgic?)
to the healing hands of the monarch (4.3.142-45). The last monarch to touch for
scrofula was Anne, who did her best for poor baby Sam Johnson.
 

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