Armchairing's Blog

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In Episode Nine, Cardinal Wolsey, seeing his future hanging in the balance, takes it upon himself to beg the Queen on his knees in public to bend to the King’s demands.  Of course he is only thinking of himself.  His desperation causes him to grovel like a dog.  I felt sorry for him a bit because for the last three episodes, I’ve seen him drop steadily out of power and favor with the King.  He has physically manhandled other cardinals to do his bidding ahead of what they deem as God’s work.  He accused an innocent man of doing what he was doing (spying for France on King Henry’s affairs) thus driving him crazy in prison.  He has threatened to imprison the Queen and her young child if the King is ever assassinated.  His haughtiness preceded him and yet, he finds himself on his knees before the Queen who he has helped to make her life a living hell.  My how the tables have turned.  Queen Katherine denounced him and told him to get up.  She stood firm and continued to refuse to grant the King an unlawful divorce while everyone looked upon Wolsey peculiarly-A Cardinal who professes all reverence to only God bowing before Queen Katherine instead of some revered religious statue? 

Anyway, Katherine exposed the Cardinal in public for all his deceit, telling him that he intends to string her along like he does with everyone else, but this time, it won’t work.  She and her servants leave him in the dust on his knees-Priceless.  I do believe there was some symbolism here.  Earlier in the season, Queen Katherine is likened to the Virgin Mary in her dress, her reverence to the Virgin Mary and her chastity and loyalty.  For the Queen/Mary to physically turn her back on Wolsey, spoke volumes.  I believe the writers were trying to suggest God’s disfavor and rejection of Wolsey.   

During the continuation of the Case – Queen Katherine vs. King Henry VIII, Bishop Fisher is the only one who would speak in behalf of the Queen and in direct defiance to the King.  He uses the example of King Herod in the Bible who wanted to take his brother’s wife, Jezebel, unlawfully.  John the Baptist was the only one who spoke out against this act and thus, he got his head cut off.  Similarly, the Bishop likened “The Tyrant” as he said, King Herod to King Henry and the fearless and loyal John the Baptist to himself.  I thought that was effective reasoning, using Bible scripture against the same people who profess to live by it.  But of course, the fearful ‘men of the cloth’ criticize Bishop Fisher for using that reference. 

The whole scenario shows how fear easily rules most men, prodding them to go against all that they believe or profess to believe.  I do have a respect for people who do not back down from their beliefs, even if they are attacked from all sides. 

At the end of this episode, King Henry banishes Cardinal Wolsey for not getting him what he wants and places Sir Thomas More in his place.  He does not want the position and who can blame him observing what happened to Wolsey.  The King orders him to be his new Chancellor against his will and charges him to do the will of God even if he himself is not in agreeance.  We’ll see how long this lasts.  According to history, this doesn’t last for too long.  Less than three years later in 1532, More resigned from the position citing ill health but the real reason was his disagreement with King Henry’s decision to split from the Church.

My rating: 5 out of 5 gold pounds


March 29, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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