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Comment on the presentation of Christianity in Henry VI, Part 1.

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natassa

Posted December 28, 2008 at 12:36 AM via web

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Comment on the presentation of Christianity in Henry VI, Part 1.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 14, 2013 at 6:08 AM (Answer #1)

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Christianity is presented in this play as a force that impels characters to act in a way that relates to the Christian moral code, even when their instincts tell them to act in a different way. Note for example how the letters of the Pope to King Henry in Act V scene 1 explicitly refer to Christianity in his plea to Henry to stop the war with France and to establish a peace "To stop the effusion of our Christian blood." When Henry asks Gloucester if he has read the letters, Gloucester responds:

I have, my lord, and their intent is this:

They humbly sue unto your excellence

To have a godly peace concluded of

Between the realms of England and France. 

Christianity therefore is presented as a moral code that characters feel the need to follow, even though they often are sidelined by their other ideas and emotions, and need to be brought back to what they need to do by figures such as the Pope, who was of course an immense authority at the time. Another way that Christianity is presented is through the figure of Joan, who of course embarks upon her activity because of her firm belief that she was picked by God to defeat the English. Christianity therefore is presented as a catalyst almost, that causes characters to do certain things and engage upon certain acts. 

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