Natural law was a two-edged sword. It bolstered authority and order and was invoked by those claiming just rebellion. Shakespeare inherited intense controversy, complicated for him as a writer for the stage by the Master of the Revels, the servant of an anxious authority. This authority, at its highest, could however totally unsay itself when faced with a Mary Queen of Scots, to the applause of the nation. His plays are marked, here and there, by grand speeches of order. How do we take them? In what way do they reflect the age?