This article is about Shakespeare's play. For other uses, see Henry VIII (disambiguation).
In Henry VIII, one of William Shakespeare's plays, Shakespeare presents a monarchy in crisis. Noblemen battle with Lord Chancellor Cardinal Wolsey, who taxes the people to the point of rebellion. Witnesses whom Wolsey brings against the Duke of Buckingham claim he is conspiring to take the throne, yet Buckingham seems innocent as he goes to his death.
Henry is also without a male heir. After meeting the beautiful Anne Bullen, he says that he suspects his current marriage to Katherine, with whom he has one surviving daughter, is invalid. Katherine, meanwhile, glows with such splendid integrity that actresses have long desired the role. She advocates for the people, suspects the witnesses against Buckingham, and eloquently defends her conduct as Henry's wife.
Henry VIII was first performed in 1613. During a performance on June 29, a cannon fired from the stage started a fire, burning down the Globe; no lives were reported lost, and a new Globe was constructed. The play was printed in the 1623 First Folio. The primary source is Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles.
Productions at the Folger
- Helen Hayes Awards
- Wins:"James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Play" for Louis Butelli
- Nominations: "Outstanding Costume Design, Resident Production" for William Ivey Long, "Outstanding Director, Resident Play" for Robert Richmond, "Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Play", "Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Play" for Naomi Jacobson, "Outstanding Lighting Design, Resident Production" for Klyph Standford, "Outstanding Set Design, Resident Production" for Tony Cisek, "Outstanding Sound Design, Resident Production" for Anthony Cochrane and Michael Rasbury, "The Robert Prosky Award for Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Play" for Ian Merrill Peakes, and "Outstanding Resident Play".
Hamnet link to Folger Edition: PR2753 .M6 2003 copy 2 v.15
In popular culture
The Folger owns at least a dozen stand-alone translations of Henry VIII in various languages (not including collected works). Cataloging of these works is ongoing as of early 2015, and many have full-level catalog records, but some works still have only partial records. Translations can be found Hamnet in by searching for "Translations"in the Genre/Form Term field, or by searching the Call Number (Left-Anchored) field for call numbers starting with PR2796 (see the list of Sh.Col. translations call numbers for specific language call numbers). Since not all translations are fully cataloged, some items may only turn up in one of these searches.
Explore the curated image group for Henry VIII in the Folger digital image collection.
- Adapted from the Folger Library Shakespeare edition, edited by Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine. © 2007 Folger Shakespeare Library.