Reader's Diary #933- William Shakespeare: Henry VIII
Yet, in Shakespeare's Henry the VIII, I didn't think he came across as despicable as I'd expected. If anyone is cast as the villain, it seems to be Cardinal Wolsey. He promises the king that he will advocate for his divorce of Katherine in order to wed Anne, but it's later proven that he advised against it in a letter to the pope.
As for Henry the VIII, I thought he got off pretty easy. Sure he's presented as a bit of a spoiled, insensitive clod but certainly not the power-abusing, misogynistic, murderer that I, even in my limited knowledge of history, knew him to be. The biggest reason? The odd cutoff point. Ending with the birth of Elizabeth who will eventually become the Queen of England, it would be a joyous, even hopeful note, if we didn't know what happened it the meantime. It's like telling the story of Nixon, but ending before Watergate. Nirvana without Cobain's suicide. Lance Armstrong before the doping revelations.You get the idea.