William Shakespeare: Henry VIII

(2152 words)
  • Gordon McMullan (King's College London )

Unusually for a play in the Shakespeare canon, it is possible to be precise about the date of Henry VIII, since in the course of the first recorded performance on 29th June 1613, the Globe theatre caught fire and burned down. Contemporary reports describe it as a “new” play at the Globe, though it was also staged, very possibly prior to the Globe performances, at the Blackfriars, the King's company's indoor theatre, where performance would have been peculiarly resonant, since the theatre was located in the same hall in which the divorce hearing of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon – dramatised at a key point in the play – had taken place eighty-four years earlier. The first printed text of the play, that in the …

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McMullan, Gordon. "Henry VIII". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 June 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=15151, accessed 30 June 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. English Renaissance Theatre - Jacobean