The historical background of Shakespeare's Henry VIII
Umphrey, Grace Marian
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The historical range of Shakespeare's Henry VIII play is vast and inclusive. A word here, a suggestion there recalls to the reader a whole field of events. These references concern themselves, not with England alone, but with all the principal countries of Europe: Italy, France, Germany,Austria, and Spain. This is not strange when we consider that Henry's divorce, resulting as it did in England's stand on there formation question, was the concern of all Europe. The remarkable feature is that the author is able in so brief a space to touch upon so many of these events and to bring out so well the temper of the times. The weakness lies in the fact that in including so much he has weakened the structural unity of his plot and left it a mere straggling narrative.
- English