Henry VIII: by Shakespeare - Summary

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      The Life of King Henry VIII is a historical play probably written collaboratively by William Shakespeare and John Fletcher. The likely date of first performance is 1613 and the first Publication was in the First Folio of 1623. Holinshed’s Chronicles is a main source, The play is at its most impressive in chronicling cling the guile of Wolsey and his sudden downfall and the anguish of Queen Katharine. Its popularity on the 19th century stage owed more to the taste for pictorial splendor and to its purple patches of rhetoric than to its intrinsic merit as a play. The history was perhaps too recent and too contentious to allow the authors’ well-tried theatrical imaginations sufficient freedom. If this was Shakespeare’s last work for the theatre, it is a disappointingly half-hearted end.

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