Bring Up The Bodies

This is the second boy she’s lost. I am

King Henry VIII of England

Bring Up The Bodies

See more monologues from Mike Poulton


Age Range
Act 3, Scene 15
Time & Place
England, 1530’s
Time Period
Show Type

Monologue Context

King Henry VIII of England is in a bit of a tight spot. He’s already run his first

Monologue Text

This is the second boy she’s lost. I am run ragged by the dead. Though who knows how many of my other sons have bled away? Women keep silence until their bellies show. What does God want of me, Cranmer? What more can I do to please Him? I see He’ll never give me male children.

I thought he regarded every sparrow that falls? Why then has he so little regard for England? Anne blames Norfolk--who burst in on her shouting I was dead. She blames me because she says I am mooning over Seymour’s daughter--because from time to time I send her sweetmeats from my table-- but I said to her--to Anne my wife-- “Just be clear on this, madam, if any woman is to blame, it is you. I’ll speak to you when you are better--when you are restored to health-- as I fear I shall never be.”

She says she will quickly give me another son now Katherine’s dead--though I can’t see how that will speed the business. If a king cannot have a son, it’s no matter of what else he can do. The triumphs, the spoils of victory, the just laws he makes, and the famous courts he holds...all these are as nothing...and my leg hurts.

My fall opened an old wound-- the ulcer will not mend. Without an heir, the country will fall into doubt, confusion, faction, and conspiracy. When I think what I did for this Queen-- how I raised her from a gentleman’s daughter. I can’t imagine why I did so. It seems to me...I was somehow led dishonestly into this marriage.

Poulton, Mike. Bring Up the Bodies. Samuel French, pp. 396-397.

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