Essay on Richard II

This essay has a total of 889 words and 5 pages.


Richard II





The Elizabethan World Order was a theological, legal, scientific, and moral plan that
provided the ultimate solution to unexplained aspects of the world. It was designed to
provide answers to problems that existed regarding human existence. The Elizabethan World
Order consists of five major principles, “The Chain of Being”, the linkage or
classes, the middle position of man, man as a social being, and the “General Notion
of Correspondences.”

The Great Chain of Being states that order resides in polarities. “Hot things are
in harmony with cold; dry with moist;” and so on. Everything is involved in the
order. Go regulated all things. From the lowest earthly creature to the human beings,
there is a set chain of order from the superior to the inferior delegated by God.

All classes in the Elizabethan world are linked. The lowest creature on the sea floor is
linked to the highest creature in the heavens because the surface of the water is in
contact with the air. Consequently all classes in human society are linked together.

Man lie halfway between angel and beast. They are superior to beasts whereas they were
given reason and understanding, but they are inferior to angels because they have not been
fully elevated to the level of understanding and control of angels. They are the image of
God but still live like animals.

Man is insufficient alone. He is a social being who is proned to sin because of his
inherited “fallen” nature. Only beasts or God can exists alone. Humans
require social interaction.

In the human world there is a hierarchy. In the political and church world there exists a
chain of command, so to in the everyday life of humans. God set a hierarchical order to
the way things are conducted.


John of Gaunt Previously he had upheld the belief that this world order laid down by God
gave Richard II the right to do as he pleased and tarnish the throne he inherited. This
preliminary belief was evident throughout his conversation with the Duchess of Gloucester
in Act 1, Scene 2. The Duchess wanted John to avenge the death of her husband, John
responded by saying, “God’s is the quarrel; for God’s substitute, His
deputy anointed in His sight, Hath caused his death, the which if wrongfully Let heaven
revenge, for I may never lift An angry arm against His minister” (I, 2, 39-43).
When he was gravely ill he met with Richard II and vocalized his disapproval.
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