"The Lion in Winter" by John Goldman.

Essay by ithinkyouknowHigh School, 12th gradeA+, May 2003

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The Lion in Winter

Parental roles in a child's life are one of the most important things in the world. Without a positive mother and father figure, adolescents can grow up to be chaotic and muddled, which is seen between the three boys in John Goldman's The Lion in Winter. Written in 1968, The Lion in Winter portrays the story of King Henry II and his struggle with his wife and his three sons Richard, Geoffrey, and John. The dire relationship between Henry and his wife Eleanor has many different effects on the three boys in different ways. Richard, Geoffrey, and John's relationships with their parents mold the men they are in the present story.

Although Richard is the oldest, he is not the first-born son. Henry and Eleanor had a son who died that was named Henry before they had Richard; but since Richard is now the oldest, he acts as if he was first born.

He feels that, because he is the oldest, he must be courageous and heroic. When Richard is doing ordinary things such as jousting, he is out to kill. This is mainly because Henry did not give him much attention, and on the rare occurrence that he did, Henry really did not give him much love. Eleanor states, "Henry hacked you up [emotionally]". Toward the end of the story, Goldman reveals that Richard is gay. One can view this as almost a rebellion against Henry. The lack of love from Henry may have caused Richard to be a homosexual. This truth is first given to Henry by Philip, whom Richard had advanced on years ago: "I learned how much fathers live in sons. A king like you has policy prepared on everything. What's the official line on sodomy? How stands the crown...