The Political Aesthetics of Anne Boleyn’s Queenship in Henry VIII

  • Rebecca M. Quoss-Moore
Part of the Queenship and Power book series (QAP)


When Shakespeare and Fletcher wrote Henry VIII, or, All is True, they were responding to and codifying a political mythology developed within the preceding century. Of particular relevance for Shakespeare and Fletcher’s work was Henry’s political performance in his courtship and marriage of his second queen. Both in history and in the play, the character of Anne Boleyn/Anne Bullen becomes a locus of the shifts caused by Henrician reform in church and state. Because those reforms created threatening instabilities in the social order, Anne’s containment becomes a central concern of the play. In Henry VIII, Anne is made subject to the audience, as well as subject to Henry, as a way of historicizing and containing these instabilities and the resultant English anxieties.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebecca M. Quoss-Moore
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Central OklahomaEdmondUSA

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