Study Guide

Gentlemen (1st, 2nd, and 3rd) in Henry VIII

By William Shakespeare

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

You might think these gents aren't important because they don't even receive names, but think again: the gentlemen's peanut gallery gives us a lot of crucial commentary in this play.

These dudes show up at critical points in the play and give us an insider's perspective on what's going down. In fact, we come to rely on the crew of gentlemen giving us the 411 on anything royal. They break down Buckingham's trial, Anne's coronation, and Elizabeth's christening, and they even give us some scoop on Katherine's trial.

The gentlemen are important because they really are the word on the street: they standing in the streets watching what's going on all around them. These men offer us a different angle, one that comes from outside the walls of the palace. From them, we learn what people really think about what's happening.

And trust us, it ain't good news for Wolsey.

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