Quote in Context
O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,
Assume the port of Mars.
Henry V (Prologue), Chorus
When Henry V ascends the throne with the combination of Richard's divine authority and his own father's political sophistication, we see the perfect monarch ruling over England, and the amalgamation of two divergent political philosophies. In the tetralogy, the rigid Tudor doctrine which places emphasis completely on a ruler's accountability only to God combines with the diametrically opposed Machiavellian theory that only an exemplary statesman has the right to govern. This fusion of these two opposing political philosophies makes the tetralogy a work of political theory, and the subtle manner in which the plays promote this theory, makes the tetralogy a work of genius.