24 May, 2007

Cardinal Wolsey in Shakespeare; The Globe burns down during "Henry VIII", June 1613.

Shakespeare's last English history play, performed in 1613, was initially titled "All is True". By the time of the publication of the 1623 folio, however ,it had aquired a longer-winded title The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eighth. Shakespeare probably collaborated with John Fletcher on this play, as he did on others.

According to the Oxford Shakespeare, the play was just into its first run at the Globe, Southwark, in June 1613 when the firing of a cannon ignited the theatre's thatched roof and burned it to the ground. Oops. The were luckily no serious casualties.

See below for a selection of lines or quotations spoken by Cardinal Wolsey in Shakespeare's "Henry VIII".

Act 2 Sc 2:
Wolsey (aside to Gardiner, the King's new secretary, later Bishop of Winchester)
"Give me your hand. Much joy and favour to you. you are the King's now."
Gardiner (aside to Wolsey)
"But to be commanded for ever by your grace, whose hand has raised me."
Act 3 Sc 1
Wolsey (to Queen Katherine)
"Madam, you wrong the King's love with these fears. Your hopes and friends are infinite."

Act3 Sc 2
Wolsey (aside)
"Anne Boleyn? No, I'll no Anne Boleyns for him"

Act3 Sc 2
Wolsey (aside)
"...Again there is sprung up an heretic,
An arch one, Cranmer, one hath crawled
Into the favour of the King
And is his Oracle."

Wolsey (to Henry)
"....My endeavours have ever come too short of my desires..."

Wolsey (facing his downfall):
...This is the state of man. Today he puts forth
The tender leaves of hopes; tomorrow blossoms,
And bears his blushing honours thick upon him;
The third day comes a frost, a killing frost,
And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
His greatness is a-ripening, nips his root,
And then he falls, as I do...."
Wolsey (to Cromwell):
...Had I but served my God with half the zeal I served my King, He would not in mine age Have left me naked to mine enemies."

Click this link for more Cardinal Wolsey quotes

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