Study Guide

Henry VIII Characters

By William Shakespeare

King Henry VIII

The play is named for him, so you know he's important. In fact, King Henry VIII  is one of...

Cardinal Wolsey

At the beginning of the play, Cardinal Wolsey is Henry's right-hand man. He's involved in all...

Queen Katherine

Poor Katherine. It's not her fault that Henry wants to marry some hot young thing, or that Wolsey...

Cranmer

This Archbishop of Canterbury is Henry's "learnèd and well-belovèd servant"...

Anne Bullen

One dance with Anne, and Henry is a smitten kitten. Who can blame him? The gents all tell us that...

Buckingham

If only everyone would have listened to Buckingham. From the very beginning, the this dude sees...

Cardinal Campeius

Cardinal Campeius is sent by the Pope to England to see what's up with the whole divorce thing....

Cromwell

Good friends are hard to find, and Thomas Cromwell might be Wolsey's only real friend. Sure,...

Gardiner

First a secretary, then a council member, Gardiner makes quite an impact for a minor character....

Old Lady

Did someone call for some comic relief? The Old Lady is at your service. The Old Lady tells it...

Council Members: Norfolk, Suffolk, Surrey, and Lord Chamberlain

These lords of the court are mostly around for—you guessed it—the court scenes. They...

Gentlemen (1st, 2nd, and 3rd)

You might think these gents aren't important because they don't even receive names, but think...

Princess Elizabeth

The baby princess is only in the play for one scene, but Cranmer sure knows how to talk about...

Griffith and Capuchius

These two dudes aren't in the play very long. Griffith is Katherine's usher (her servant), and...

Prologue and Epilogue

The Prologue opens the play with the line: "I come no more to make you laugh," but we beg to...