Characters in the Play
Two stories dominate Henry VIII: the fall of Cardinal Wolsey, Henry’s powerful advisor, and Henry’s quest to divorce Queen Katherine, who…
Act 1, scene 1
The Duke of Buckingham, learning the details of the costly and ultimately fruitless meeting of French and English at the…
Act 1, scene 2
Queen Katherine reveals that Wolsey is heavily taxing the English in the king’s name, and Henry pronounces a pardon to…
Act 1, scene 3
Three courtiers discuss the royal proclamation against young fops who have adopted French manners and dress after returning from France….
Act 1, scene 4
At the supper, Wolsey and his guests are visited by Henry and his courtiers, all disguised as shepherds. Henry dances…
Act 2, scene 1
Buckingham, convicted of treason, is led to execution. He declares his innocence, forgives his enemies, and vows his loyalty to…
Act 2, scene 2
Norfolk, Suffolk, and the Lord Chamberlain join in denouncing Wolsey. They hold him responsible for dividing Henry from Katherine, and…
Act 2, scene 3
Anne Bullen pities Katherine, now threatened with divorce. The Lord Chamberlain enters to announce that Henry has created Anne marchioness…
Act 2, scene 4
At the trial, Katherine refuses to have the validity of her marriage judged by the church court, given Wolsey’s malice…
Act 3, scene 1
Wolsey and Campeius visit Katherine to persuade her to contest the divorce no longer.
Act 3, scene 2
Courtiers assemble to discuss Wolsey’s sudden fall from Henry’s favor, Henry’s marriage to Anne Bullen, and plans for her coronation….
Act 4, scene 1
The procession returns from Anne’s coronation, which is then described by a gentleman who was in attendance.
Act 4, scene 2
The dying Princess Dowager Katherine and her attendant Griffith provide contrasting accounts of the character of the newly dead Wolsey….
Act 5, scene 1
The new archbishop of Canterbury, Cranmer, is under attack because his religious beliefs seem heretical. The king, after receiving news…
Act 5, scene 2
Cranmer suffers the public humiliation of being locked out of a Privy Council meeting. Allowed in, he is then threatened…
Act 5, scene 3
A porter and his assistant fight to control the crowd determined to view the royal daughter’s christening.
Act 5, scene 4
At Princess Elizabeth’s christening, Cranmer prophesies a magnificent reign for the future Queen Elizabeth I and an equally successful one…
Act 5, epilogue
second wife and queen