Home > Shakespeare in Perspective: Henry VIII
The Globe Theater burned down the night "Henry VIII" premiered on June 29th, 1613. Anthony Burgess reads the letter Sir Henry Wooten wrote about the event.
William Shakespeare lived in semi-retirement in Stratford-upon-Avon after 1610; John Heminges and Henry Condell edited the first folio. Burgess describes the playwright's motivation to write "Henry VIII." During 1613, celebrations occurred after the betrothal of Prince Frederick to Princess Elizabeth.
King James I liked the play and drew parallels between the former king and himself. Watch the scene where Wolsey realizes he has lost King Henry VIII's favor. The British feared the Spanish would attempt to impose Catholicism on England again.
Burgess examines whether Shakespeare wrote "Henry VIII"; most critics believe the playwright collaborated with John Fletcher. Watch Cardinal Wolsey's soliloquy where he sends Cromwell away so he will not fall from grace.
The Jacobean stage used different areas of the theater for different types of scenes. Listen to Burgess recite the final lines of the prologue. The author describes why the play appealed to the British people.
Credits: Shakespeare in Perspective: Henry VIII
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Anthony Burgess sets Shakespeare in perspective by looking at the circumstances which surrounded the first public performance of Shakespeare's last history play in June 1613 and asks the question: "Did he indeed write it?"
Length: 24 minutes
Copyright date: ©1979
Prices include public performance rights.
Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.
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