Comparison between power and law in Shakespeare

Essay by DaTruth0323University, Bachelor'sA+, April 2005

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The intersection of power and law

In the modern world it is very common for power and law to intersect. In many aspects of the modern world this same idea is used, such as movies, music, and novels. This holds true for authors/poets such as William Shakespeare, who is renowned as the greatest literary men to have every composed a story. Whether it was his historical plays, tragedies, or comedies, there was always interesting twist between power and law. In particular there was Henry IV part 1, Richard III and King Lear, which will be the focal point of this paper.

One example of the intersection of power and law can be demonstrated in Henry IV Part 1, where young Hal has to determine what position he is going to uphold. He has to decide whether he wants to be a true king, and take the responsibilities that come along with that title, or if he is going to allow Falstaff to brainwash him.

Hal is already going down the wrong path becoming a thief and spending a great deal of time in the tavern. The intersection of power and law takes place when the police start to question a robbery that takes place. This is somewhat the turning point of the play, where Hal starts to take step up to his royal responsibilities, and he starts to enforce the law, using his authority as prince. Even though he sticks up for Falstaff he picks his pockets before he goes to court. Another intersection is where the rebels are captured and Henry IV spares their lives. Even though they have committed treason, which is against the law, the King has the power to dictate what transactions take place. This is a direct intersection of power and law. In this...