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Free Study Guide-Henry VIII by William Shakespeare-Free Plot Synopsis Notes
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SCENE SUMMARY AND NOTES

ACT V, SCENE II

Summary

Cranmer comes to the council chamber. There the keeper that he must wait outside till he called for informs him. Dr. Butts observes this and departs to inform the King of the shabby treatment Cranmer is being subjected to. Cranmer resents being treated this way but resigns himself to wait patiently.

Dr. Butts brings the King to a window that overlooks the Council Chamber and paints out Cranmer waiting outside the entrance. When he explains the situation to the King. The latter is angered and decides to go to the Council Chamber and set the matter right himself.


Notes

A brief, though significant scene, it carried forward the momentum begun in the previous scene. The council is united against Cranmer. They use their power to keep him waiting outside. This is a direct insult to Cranmer, who being part of the council has the right to go in. His rise to power has rankled many men and they do this to shame Cranmer, who must now face the full force of their planned action against him.

The action gathers more momentum when the King is made aware of the whole situation. Enraged by the shabby treatment of Cranmer, who is a personal friend of his, the King’s displeasure mounts, and he leaves for the council chamber. With the King’s angry departure the tension in the scene is further heightened and the resolution of the matter is imminent.

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