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Henry VIII by William Shakespeare

Henry VIII (1612)

by William Shakespeare

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Shakespeare's Histories (10)

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Shakespeare's "Henry VIII" is best remembered as the play that was on stage when the Globe Theater burned down. There's a reason that's what it's known for.... the play itself really doesn't hold up well to the bard's more famous works.

Rife with historical inaccuracies, most of the action takes place off stage, so you just hear characters talking about it. (Yeah, I didn't like it when Hilary Mantel did this either.) It was the Elizabethan age, so of course Shakespeare makes the birth of Queen Elizabeth something like the second coming and is mostly laudatory about her mother Anne Boleyn.

There really isn't much that's great about this one. ( )
  amerynth | Jul 22, 2014 |
Well here we are in the ugly competition. "Worst plays by William Shakespeare". Wisely the first line is "I come no more to make you laugh:... And you won't. It seems to me, that a sort of historical pageant was required, perhaps to get some people to put their money down at the box-office, and this was cobbled up. It is a chore to read, and only the queen Catherine of Argon scenes have much fire. We have records that the theatre caught fire during one of the performances and the audience must have left the theatre early with some relief. The theatre burned down , this was WS's last history play, and he soon retired. the play was written or revised, in1613. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Nov 28, 2013 |
Saw. ( )
  ErinHorakova | Apr 8, 2013 |
Saw. ( )
  ErinHorakova | Apr 8, 2013 |
King Henry VIII' has one of the fullest theatrical histories of any play in the Shakespeare canon, yet has been consistently misrepresented, both in performance and in criticism. This edition offers a fresh perspective on this ironic, multi-layered, collaborative play.rrBelieved to be Shakespeare's very last play, Henry VIII is probably best remembered as the play which, when performed in June 1613, led to the Globe Theatre burning down due to the fireworks and cannon fire listed in the stage directions. However, otherwise the play has puzzled critics, who can see little more in it than a nostalgic account of Henry's reign, and the prophetic birth and christening of Elizabeth, Shakespeare's Queen, which takes place at the end of the play.Henry VIII deals with the intrigue which surrounds Henry's court, and in particular the controversial figure of Cardinal Wolsey, and Henry's separation from his wife Katherine, and infatuation with Anne Bullen. However, there is little sense of the psychological complexity created by Shakespeare in earlier history plays like Henry V. Henry VIII himself is a grand but distant figure, and the virulent anti-Catholicism lacks complexity. Within an increasingly troubled political period, the final hopeful invocation of "Peace, plenty, love, truth" seems rather flat, as does the play as a whole. This has led many critics to argue that Shakespeare was just one of many collaborators in the writing of the play. --Jerry Brotton
  Roger_Scoppie | Apr 3, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (35 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shakespeare, Williamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Berdan, John M.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brooke, TuckerEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foakes, R. A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hudson, Henry N.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lamar, Virginia A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rolfe, William J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, D. NicholEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wright, Louis B.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
I come no more to make you laugh: things now,

That bear a weighty and a serious brow,

Sad, high, and working, full of state and woe,

Such noble scenes as draw the eye to flow,

We now present.
'T is better to be lowly born,

And range with humble livers in content,

Than to be perked up in a glistering grief,

And wear a golden sorrow.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743273303, Mass Market Paperback)

The world's leading center for Shakespeare studies

Each edition includes:

Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play

Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play

Scene-by-scene plot summaries

A key to famous lines and phrases

An introduction to reading Shakespeare's language

An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play

Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare

Library's vast holdings of rare books

Essay by Barbara A. Mowat

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare's printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs.

For more information, visit www.folger.edu.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:34 -0400)

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Presents Shakespeare's story of political intrigue and betrayal in 16th century England centering around King Henry VIII, his divorce from Queen Katharine and subsequent marriage to Anne Bolyn.

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2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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