ABSTRACT

This chapter's examination of Shakespeare's second tetralogy explores the apparent division in King Harry's character between his Christian and political commitments. It argues that Harry's politics employs artful political stagings in an attempt to strengthen his political power in a way that also aims at reconciling the demands of Christianity and politics, both within himself, and within England. Harry seeks to accomplish these tasks through the establishment of a Christian polity in which the weight of political rule is shared by the ruled. His final soliloquy and subsequent speech provide us with the culminating account of this statesmanship, for their stagings provide the deepest example of his understanding, both of the political problem before him and its possible solutions.