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Power and Betrayal in Shakespears Power and Betrayal.

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Christina Kimerle December 2, 2003 Power and Betrayal One must know how to use betrayal and power to achieve goals. Shakespeare's Harry Bolingbroke and Archbishop of Canterbury use their keen sense of betrayal and power to achieve many of their goals. While trying to return from banishment, Bolingbroke betrays Richard II, and Bolingbroke uses his power to gain support for his confrontation with Richard. Archbishop of Canterbury betrays Henry V into thinking that he has claims to invade France. He then uses the power of his position to gain the support of the people and the nobles while encouraging a war with France. Shakespeare's Richard II begins with a dispute between nobles Bolingbroke and Mowbray, and from the outcome Richard will be betrayed by Bolingbroke. King Richard banishes both Bolingbroke and Mowbray as the result of the dispute. Bolingbroke's father, John Gaunt, dies leaving his inheritance within Richard's sight. Warning Richard of the consequences of stealing Bolingbroke's inheritance, the Duke of York says, If you do wrongfully seize Hereford's rights, Call in the letters patents that he hath By his attorneys general to sue His livery, and deny his offered homage, You pluck a thousand dangers on your head, You lose a thousand well-disposed hearts (2.1, 202-207). ...read more.


If not, I'll use the advantage of my power, And lay the summer's dust with showers of blood. (3.3, 34-42) However, before Northumberland can enter the castle, King Richard and his allies appear upon the high walls of the castle. Richard with all the authority of a king, tells Northumberland to relay a message to Bolingbroke: if Bolingbroke dares to take the throne, the heavens and the King will rain vengeance upon him. He also says that Bolingbroke will not possess the crown in peace until blood stains the fields of England. Bolingbroke quickly denies that he has come to seize the throne, claiming he merely wants the rights as Gaunt's heir restored to him. Richard agrees to Bolingbroke's demands, but he realizes that his reign as king has ended; Bolingbroke certainly overpowered Richard and will not let him retain the crown. Bolingbroke calls upon Richard to come down, and Richard and his attendants obediently descend. Bolingbroke never says aloud of his intention to take the crown, but Richard asks whether he must go with Bolingbroke and his army to London, and Bolingbroke says yes; Richard agrees. ...read more.


Here Canterbury misquotes the words of the Bible; he uses his power to convince everyone into believing the just causes of the war. Given the title of Archbishop, lying to all the people, nobles, and the King proves a great problem with the clergy of the kingdom. With the Church behind him, Henry V goes to war with France to claim the throne. The dishonesty and misuse of the power of his position, the Archbishop of Canterbury undercuts the great military success of the war. Power and betrayal, two powerful weapons, show the great degree used to achieve one's goals. As proved, Bolingbroke and Canterbury use power and betrayal to propel their plan of success. Although both characters had completely different goals, they each used these similar weapons to their advantage. Bolingbroke used his power to gain support to betray Richard II and take his inheritance and the English crown. Canterbury used his power of position to betray everyone that Henry V had claims to the French throne and England needed to begin a war with the French. Not only do the dangers of power and betrayal appear throughout Shakespeare's writing, but in today's everyday turn of events. 2 ...read more.

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