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ITEACHING SHAKESPEARE at the Folger Library

© 2000 Folger Shakespeare Library

King James I handout

Visit http://campus.northpark.edu/history/Classes/Sources/JamesI.html

Read through the first speech: “True Law of Free Monarchies.”

1. What is James trying to convey? What is his conception of the role of a king?

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2. If you were a member of Parliament, how would you react to this speech? Is James

using some sort of “spin” in his speech? If this were a press conference, what

questions would you ask?

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Read through the second speech: “A Speech to Parliament, 1610.”

3. In the first paragraph, James talks about his idea of “the divine right of kings.”

Judging from his speech, what does that phrase mean?

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4. What does the phrase “parens patriae” mean? Does James think of the Parliament

and his subjects as equals?

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5. James uses his age as a persuasive device in the last paragraph. How does he get

mileage out of being an old king?

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© 2000 Folger Shakespeare Library

English IV