22nd March 2018

The Chain of Being

The Chain of being is also referred to as the great chain of being. Its concept is the nature of the universe had influenced on the western thought. This was through the ancient Greeks during the European Renaissance in the 17th century and early 18th century. There are many levels of the Chain of being including God, Angelic beings, humanity, animals, plants, and minerals.

Elizabethan England’s hierarchy in England was important that anyone could understand important elements of history during those days. There was a big responsibility in those days of people having there own set of rules on the social structure at which everyone had to follow. The laws that were made by the rulers were mainly related to food, clothing, jewellery and furniture. These rules were made to help specific class structure and maintain it.


What were the social, political and religious beliefs of the time? What was happening with the Monarchy and how did the people of England respond to this? What evidence can you find of “the Divine Right to Rule”????

Explain in no more than 400 words, the extent to which you agree with the statement below. Acknowledge classical/modern approach. “I am a man more sinned against than sinning”

At this point, King Lear has got no power and hardly any friends. It describes it as “Blow winds and crack your cheeks!” as if he was in a big thunder storm. He does not want to be outside where it is warm, but instead to be inside where it is cold and lonely. He thought handing over the ruling of his Kingdom to his children was a good idea, and then he could relax. He wanted to still enjoy power without being King. That involves of being King with any responsibility. His two daughters are ready to go live there own lives with there own kingdoms. They hate how Lear thinks he is still in charge as he promised to give up all of his power. King Lear realises that his daughters don’t love him as much as they said they did. They only did say that to go power. Lear tries to forget about life and his misery.


  • https://www.britannica.com/topic/Great-Chain-of-Being
  • http://faculty.grandview.edu/ssnyder/121/121%20great%20chain.htm
  • https://www.shmoop.com/shakespeare-quotes/more-sinned-against-than-sinning/


Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. It is good to see you have a good understanding of what the Great Chain of Being is. Your next step is to apply it to the play- how is the play an example of the Great Chain of Being being broken?

    Also, make comment about the divine right to rule and how this would have shaped the audiences view of what was occurring in the play when it was performed in Shakespeare’s age.


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