Henry IV Part 2 as Compared to History. A comparison of this play to the actuall history of the time in Wales and Europe. Original draft.

Essay by donnayeahHigh School, 12th gradeA+, March 2003

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Henry IV Part 2 as Compared to History

Shakespeare loved to mix reality with the imaginational world that he had invented in his own mind. His stories had the ability to supersede the art of historical writings into creating an atmosphere that is almost tangible. Shakespeare's era was characterized, in terms of power, as a divine right to the throne that was given to or taken away from man by God alone. Shakespeare used this belief throughout his play as the driving force behind the main conflict. A brief historical background that may be helpful to this situation is some brief knowledge of the War of the Roses. The War or the Roses was a war fought between two competing houses for the throne. The house of York and the house of Lancaster were both represented by roses of different colors and both houses felt as though it was their divine right to have control of the monarchy.

Whether or not this is their only reason for attempting to gain power, let political and financial means also play a large role although they are not as important on this particular subject. This aspect compounded with the split views on who should be heir to the throne and gave way to an interesting story and plot. The situation is that when the king was gone for a good amount of time or had died, there were two methods of picking an heir to the throne. These two methods were to either pick the eldest son, Henry Bolingbroke, also known as Henry IV to be heir or to pick a male heir who just happened to be married to the eldest daughter of the beforehand king or ruler. This would put Edmund Mortimer as the rightful king. Each one of these...