Traditional notions of sacred kingship turned either extra grandiose and extra tricky in the course of England's turbulent 16th and 17th centuries. The reformation introduced through Henry VIII and his claims for royal supremacy and divine correct rule resulted in the suppression of the Mass, because the host and crucifix have been overshadowed via royal iconography and pageantry. those adjustments begun a spiritual controversy in England that might bring about civil struggle, regicide, recovery, and eventually revolution.
Richard McCoy exhibits that, amid those occasionally cataclysmic adjustments of kingdom, writers like John Skelton, Shakespeare, John Milton, and Andrew Marvell grappled with the assumption of kingship and its symbolic and major energy. Their inventive representations of the crown exhibit the eagerness and ambivalence with which the English considered their royal leaders. whereas those writers differed at the basic questions of the day—Skelton was once a staunch defender of the English monarchy and standard faith, Milton was once an intensive opponent of either, and Shakespeare and Marvell have been extra equivocal—they shared an abiding fascination with the royal presence or, occasionally extra tellingly, the royal absence.
Ranging from regicides actual and imagined—with the very actual specter of the slain King Charles I haunting the rustic like a revenant of the king's ghost in Shakespeare's Hamlet—from the royal sepulcher at Westminster Abbey to Peter Paul Reubens's Apotheosis of King James at Whitehall, and from the Elizabethan compromise to the wonderful Revolution, McCoy plumbs the depths of English attitudes towards the king, the kingdom, and the very suggestion of holiness. He unearths how older notions of sacred kingship elevated throughout the political and spiritual crises that reworked the English kingdom, and is helping us comprehend why the conflicting feelings engendered through this enlargement have confirmed so persistent.
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Alterations of State: Sacred Kingship in the English Reformation