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King Louis Xiv, Man in the Iron Mask

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The Man in the Iron Mask

Part One: Political Climate

Divine Right of Kings:

This was a belief held by most monarchs of Europe, including Louis XIV. Divine Right was a political and religious doctrine of absolutism, the idea that a given king was ordained by God. No one could question him, for questioning the king was questioning God. A king=s actions, policies, and efforts were without just consequence by his subjects.

Incident One:

Raoul, Athos= son, and Christine enjoy a spring day together, and are soon to be engaged. King Louis happens by, and decides Christine would suit him as a mistress. So, he sends Raoul into bloody battle, sure to meet a soldier=s fate. Louis exercises

Incident Two:

A scene in which King Louis and Christine are together depicts the divinity he believes he possesses. ANo, you will burn in hell, I will not. For I am King, ordained by God.@ In his eyes, no action of the king deserves consequence. This was a common view among absolute monarchs of this time.

Incident Three:

After Phillipe is rescued from the prison, he describes what he remembers before being imprisoned. He remembers a Aman in black@ securing him into the iron mask for a seemingly unknown reason. This man in black was Aramis, the priest. The color black could symbolize an immoral deed being committed. And so it was. King Louis had ordered Phillipe be imprisoned with the mask, and being told to do such, Aramis sacrificed his ethics and morality for the sake of honoring his king=s wishes.

Part Two: Social Issues

Scene Description:

Because of the king=s arrogance and greed, he feeds his subjects rotting food. The people are fed up with this, and, led by the Jesuits, riot outside the king=s castle. D=Artagnon negotiates with them, saying that all will be resolved.

Problem Addressed:

Louis responds to his own mistake by blaming someone else. He has the chief advisor of food distribution executed (because he has that power), and orders that all rioters be shot.



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