Henry's prime minister until his fall, Wolsey is a butcher's son who has risen to his high position through his own ambition. As cardinal, Wolsey holds power in the Catholic Church; as chancellor, he holds power in affairs of state. He is almost universally disliked throughout the kingdom. In almost the first reference to Wolsey in the play, Buckingham complains "The devil speed him! no man's pie is freed / From his ambitious finger" (I.i.52-53). Norfolk warns that "The Cardinal's malice and his potency" are equal, and that "his nature" is "revengeful" (I.i.105,108,109). It is not just...
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