Study Guide

Henry VIII Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

By William Shakespeare

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Anticipation Stage

When Buckingham is carted off to the Tower after he tells us Wolsey is bad news, we suspect that old Wolsey might be up to no good. But Buckingham's shady servant tells us otherwise; according to him, the guy did commit treason. Katherine pokes a bunch of holes in this story, but Buckingham is executed, anyway. We're not sure who's telling the truth.

Dream Stage

Henry meets the beautiful Anne Bullen at a party and he's head-over-heels as soon as he sets eyes on her. They dance; they kiss; they have a great time. Henry sends Anne gifts and wants to ditch his wife Katherine so that he and Anne can be together. Anne swears she doesn't want to be queen. Sure, she doesn't.

Frustration Stage

Wolsey helps orchestrate Henry's divorce from Katherine. The old queen is taken to Kimbolton and made Princess Dowager. She knows Wolsey is up to no good, but she can't do anything about it. Meanwhile, Henry gets frustrated with Wolsey and Campeius. He thinks Cranmer is better suited to advise him, since he's not sure if Wolsey has his best interests at heart.

Nightmare Stage

Wolsey forgets to mail some letters meant for the Pope that out his whole scheme against Anne. When Henry finds them, it's so long, Wolsey. Henry is happy to have Cranmer by his side, and marries Anne. After the Cardinal is fired, Wolsey dies. Then Katherine gets sick and dies. To top it all off, Cranmer is accused of breaking some laws, and the people are not so happy with him.

The Thrilling Escape from Death Stage

The council grills Cranmer about the accusations brought against him. Most of them would rather just toss him in the Tower than deal with him. At the last minute, Henry steps in and saves the day; he trusts Cranmer and is sick of the nobles fighting. They all agree to be friends from here on out. Anne has just delivered a baby girl, and everyone's invited to the christening. They all go, and Cranmer delivers a speech about how virtuous and strong Princess Elizabeth will be one day.

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