POST: 'Wolf Hall Part 2' This time Anne Boleyn is in jeopardy

 Photo by Johan Persson

Photo by Johan Persson

And the gruesome tale continues BUT this time it's even bloodier

King Henry VIII is shifting favors, once again. This time Anne Boleyn is in jeopardy. What's her quarrel with the king?
She can't give birth to a son. I wish someone could have told the king that it issn't the woman's fault, not having a son. Technically, men are the biological determinants in the gender of children. I would have loved to see the reaction of King Henry VIII when he found that out.

ANYWAY... that doesn't mean King Henry VIII will abdicate the throne to someone in his family that could be able to have a son. On the other hand, he is putting his first wife in a nunnery and executing his second wife. All because he thinks that women have everything to do with it. I don't know about you but I'm thankful that today we have divorces, modern information about biology, and a perspective that women are equal to men.

Another aspect deeply troubled me.

Anne Boleyn had many miscarriages. King Henry VIII kept on doing things that caused Anne Boleyn to worry her in her critical condition. In one case, he participated in a jousting tournament where he ended up unconscious for hours. On top of that, Henry's interest in Jane Seymour was also widely talked about at court. At least if he wanted to get a son, he should have payed attention to the stress condition of his wife. Am I right?

So, the king now has his eyes on Jane Seymour. 

It's no surprise when a home wrecker is replaced by another home wrecker. Anne Boleyn placed Catherine of Aragon, the King's first wife, in exile. Now, Jane Seymour is replacing Anne Boleyn. But her position is just as fragile if she doesn't have a son.

Of course, the Seymour family is delighted to have such an opportunity for their daughter. However, I took some time to evaluate the situation. During the performance, Jane Seymour was laughing sheepishly when she thought that she would have to marry Cromwell, the king's chief advisor. What bothered her so much? Cromwell was in his 40's. However, I looked up the king's age when he was courting Jane. Guess what his age was. He was 45 years old. I guess no matter how old he is. He is after all the king.

King Henry VIII is facing just one tiny problem.

He doesn't know what to accuse Anne of doing in order to get rid of her. Who does he turn to? He goes to his most trusted advisor, Cromwell. Now its Cromwell's turn to cook up a scheme to satisfy the King's constantly changing wishes. There is no knowing what would happen to him if he fails. Therefore, he knows that he needs to come with anything true or false to have Anne put aside.

The choices to King Henry VIII's wish:

  • Cromwell desperately goes to Henry Percy to recount what he said about his marriage to Anne Boleyn. (Historical background: Before King Henry married Anne, Cromwell made Percy say that his secret marriage to Anne was void). Now, Henry Percy ultimately refuses.
  • Believe all the gossips about Anne Boleyn being a witch. People claim to have seen Anne Boleyn flying on brooms.
  •  Take for word the stories that the chamber women have to say. They claim to have seen at least five different men in the Queen's bedroom.

So Cromwell does the only *rational thing* to do. He claims that all five of the men have had an affair with the Queen. Never mind that he could have just claimed that one man had an affair with the Queen. That probably would have prevented five people from being executed. But what're five lives worth compared to one?

Therefore, Cromwell is successful in getting Anne Boleyn executed for treason. The play handled the executions very interestingly. They showed the bags of bodies and heads of the five men executed. The play even made a morbid joke where the grave digger was confused which head belonged to which body.

King Henry VIII doesn't actually wait out the mourning period. He celebrates by marrying Jane Seymour within one week. The story indeed doesn't end here for this English monarch. Through the end of his life time, Jane Seymour gives birth to a son and dies. The son dies in eight years. Henry VIII marries only three more times. Why not? Ironically, his daughter with Anne Boleyn, Queen Elizabeth, ruled England for 43 years. She was the Queen during the Golden Age in England.


 

$39 General Rush
$34.25 Student Tickets
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Wolf Hall Part 2
Winter Garden Theatre
thru July 6