As I mentioned in my last post, A Different Learning Style, I decided to do a project on Henry VIII and how his reign changed the religious structure in England. So far, I have taken notes, watched a documentary or two, and tried to keep track of pictures for the Powerpoint slideshow I will soon start to work on.
Before I began, I knew absolutely nothing about the Reformation. I had no idea when exactly it occurred, who was involved, and even what it was about. I didn’t even know that Henry VIII was very involved in the Reformation. As I began to delve further into my research on Henry VIII, however, I then realized that I would be able to strengthen my knowledge on not only Henry VIII’s life and the Reformation, but also the Shakespearean play. I find that I am now able to look at the play with a historical perspective and see how Shakespeare shaped his character of Henry based on the biases of that time period. Queen Elizabeth I, Henry’s daughter, was ruling England in that time, so Shakespeare could not depict her father as the lustful, selfish man he was but more as a good king who was manipulated into divorcing Catherine of Aragon by Cardinal Wolsey.