30th March 2018

Chain of Being

The ‘Chain of Being’ is a medieval structure that the world inherited as a view on the world. The ‘Chain of Being’ is a ranking system of a specific being, object or creature. These are ranked based on power, intelligence and capability. The ‘Chain of Being’ goes as follows;

  • God
  • Angels
  • Humans
  • Animals
  • Vegetables
  • Minerals

Back in those times the religious beliefs were that God created the heavens and the earths. They also believed in Angels. “God” and “Angels” were the only things man saw as superior to them. (further up the chain). The Kings and Queens of that time were the most powerful humans on earth as they were rulers. The Kings and Queens set the religion for people to follow and believe in. The King held most of the power back then but with God present in their beliefs, they believed that God can be the only one to judge a king that is unjust. They believed God gave them the right to dethrone a king if he is unjust and/or deprive him of his position. God himself will not dethrone a King but the people will do so on his behalf, as such. They would often use the phase, “by the grace of God.” The King made the rules but if the people highly disliked these rules and they could gain enough power to push the king out and replace him, they could do so with God’s permission. This is called ‘the Devine Right to Rule’.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_right_of_kings , https://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/Tillyard01.html

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Hi Max, it is good to see that you know what the Chain of Being is. I want to see you connect the play to this- explain how the play clearly violates this natural order and why an audience in Elizabethan England would find this disturbing to watch in a play.


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