I need to make a satirical yearbook page for a well-known sinner (7 deadly sins). I have chosen King Henry VIII as the subject. These are the questions I have to address in the project:
- Plan out information for project
- use satirical devices to show character
- make smart and appropriate choices as a writer
1: sins associated with him/her
2: what are some specific examples that serve as evidence that this person is guilty of these sins? you may list or bullet them, but be clear
3: If this person were in your high school, what senior superlatives would he/she win? [ex. class flirt, best smile] Make up one! make it reflect the sins of the person.
4: If this person were in your high school, what clubs would he/she be in? Think about ones we have and invent some! Be clever - show the sin
5: If this person were in your high school, what would be some of his/her "accomplishments"? Think of the person's personality, job, etc. to create these
6: What is one quote this person might say that would subtly show his/her personality?
7: What are some other pieces to this yearbook page that will help satirize the person?
8: If you were "reporting" on this person, what would you write as a satirical summary (a paragraph or two) about the person?
9: what colors, images, symbols, etc. would serve to enhance this yearbook page with regard to further accentuating the satirical aspects?
Can someone help me make witty/creative answers to these questions just to get me started?
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Depicting Henry VIII in a satirical light is a worthy endeavor, given the late-monarch’s imperial excesses, particularly with respect to marriage. The man went through six wives, with wife number two being the subject of considerable antipathy. His dramatic break with the Catholic Church and the execution of Sir Thomas More all constituted highlights of his reign.
In planning out information for a project focused on Henry VIII, the first step one should take involves internet research. Henry VIII having been a prominent historical figure, there is no shortage of information freely available on his life and rule. In addition to the obligatory Wikipedia entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_VIII_of_England), other readily-available websites include the official website of the British monarchy (http://www.royal.gov.uk/historyofthemonarchy/kingsandqueensofengland/thetudors/henryviii.aspx), and the Encyclopedia Britannica (http://www.britannia.com/history/monarchs/mon41.html). Time permitting, there is also no shortage of quality research on the subject of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, the Tudors, and other aspects of the larger picture. Eric Ives’ The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn, Antonia Fraser, The Wives of Henry VIII, and Alison Weir’s The Six Wives of Henry VIII are all fine nonfiction studies that merit attention. Note, however, the pattern here: the wives are the topic. Note, also, the historically-significant circumstances surrounding the marriage to Anne Boleyn. Henry seriously wanted to divorce wife number one, Catherine of Aragon, in order to wed Anne Boleyn, having already had an affair with Anne’s sister, Mary. Henry was also desperate to produce a male heir, and the male baby born to Catherine died within months of his birth. Henry was also seriously disillusioned with the notion that he might have to share political power, even with the Church. His response to all of this, of course, was to use his power to have his marriage to Catherine annulled. He broke with Rome and instituted the Church of England as his own fiefdom, and married Anne. Anne, however, also failed to produce a male heir, on top of which she made powerful enemies within Henry’s court. To make a long story short, she was imprisoned and executed – an ignominious ending given the measures that had been taken to allow for her marriage to Henry.
Once a good sense for Henry’s character is developed and the major historical events noted, application of satire is not difficult, as the critical success of Monty Python demonstrated. A guy who inherited the crown, disdained the conduct of the actual duties associated with a head of state, and methodically went through wives provides opportunities for satire. And, he dressed funny. Listing sins associated with Henry VIII would, naturally, involve the measures he took to identify spouses, cheat on those spouses, and execute the spouse whose marriage required political machinations that make modern-era politicians look like rank amateurs. The list of sins could also include the politically-motivated executions that were a common theme of Henry’s rule, including the executions of his late-father’s senior advisors, although there were mitigating circumstances (the advisors were corrupt, providing a useful pretext for their demise).
If Henry VIII were in my high school, he would be distinguished by his ways with the ladies, for his willingness to break with traditions (such as the Church of England’s ties to the Vatican), and his skill at manipulating human relationships for political and strategic advantage (e.g., the marriage of his sister Mary to the king of France, which solidified the truce between the two kingdoms). He would also be distinguished by his noteworthy stare; in effect, he could really glare at the artist/photographer in a rather intimidating manner – quite the skill considering how he was attired.
Henry had been a good athlete in his day, especially at tennis and at hunting. He would have belonged to the Letterman’s Club, the tennis team, the archery team, and the National Rifle Association-sponsored shooting team for youths, as well as been elected king of the prom his senior year. The prom queen was executed. He dominated the debate club by virtue of his ability to publicly humiliate and have arrested and imprisoned anyone who spoke publicly in opposition to his positions on issues of the day.
Accomplishments could include exemplary performance at archery and shooting (he won state-wide competitions at both). His stint as student body president was marked by his success in scrapping the existing student-body constitution and replacing it with one that ensured he would remain student body president at least through graduation, if not also through college.
Details for a yearbook page could draw from the above comments, and include photographs of Henry hunting, shooting arrows, sitting with female students, and glaring at the photographer who dared to photograph him huddling with political allies on the student council.
The color red would be most appropriate given that color’s use in his royal robes. The symbol would be a crown that could appear prominently at the top of the yearbook page.
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