King Henry VIII | Critical Essay by Edward I. Berry

This literature criticism consists of approximately 26 pages of analysis & critique of King Henry VIII.
This section contains 7,613 words
(approx. 26 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Edward I. Berry

SOURCE: Berry, Edward I. “Henry VIII and the Dynamics of Spectacle.” Shakespeare Studies 12 (1979): 229-46.

In the following essay, Berry argues that Henry VIII, though not without its flaws, offers a successful blend of history, tragedy, masque, and romance. In addition, Berry examines the drama's structural pattern of four successive tragedies that culminate in Cranmer's prophetic vision.

Although admittedly a modest play by Shakespearean standards, Henry VIII has been subjected to criticism which seems to me undeservedly severe. Its structure has been condemned as episodic, its characterization as sentimental and stereotyped, its pageantry as meaningless, its language as inflated, its treatment of history as evasive and propagandistic.1 Much of this criticism reflects, I think, a failure to take the play on its own terms, to understand its distinctive dramatic mode. Like the other late plays...

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This section contains 7,613 words
(approx. 26 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Edward I. Berry