King John and Henry VIII
These two history plays--one written in the early days of Shakespeare's career and one at the very end--are alike in the complexity of their political vision. "King John" probes the nature of good and evil as self-interest and ruthless ambition proceed unchecked while an unpopular ruler wages a brutal fight to keep his throne. "Henry VIII" is a sumptuous spectacle of pomp and ceremony, as well as an exploration of the mysterious ways in which the rise and fall from power of individuals led ultimately to England's destiny as a Protestant nation.
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Angiers Anne Archbishop Archbishop of Canterbury Arthur Austria Bastard Bishop Blanch blood Buckingham Campeius Canterbury Cardinal cause conscience Constance coronation court Cranmer Cromwell crown death divers doth Duke Duke of Brittany Duke of Norfolk Earl Elinor enemies England English Enter Exeunt Exit eyes father Faulconbridge fear Folio France French king friends give Grace hand hast hath hear heart heaven Henry VIII Highness Holinshed holy honor Hubert Hubert de Burgh John's King John King Philip King's Lady land legate Lewis living Lord Chamberlain Lovell madam marriage matter Melun mother never noble Norfolk oath Pandulph peace Pembroke play Pope pray Prince Queen Katherine realm reign Richard royal Salisbury scene Second Gentleman Shakespeare Sir Thomas Sir Thomas Lovell soul speak stage Suffolk Surrey theater thee thou tongue truth unto William Shakespeare Wolsey Wolsey's words