Henry VIII the "Old King Cole" or Blue Beard approach is often under scrutiny. This essay affirms the Old King Cole approach, in which Henry acted out of the interests of the country.

Essay by AgordonHigh School, 10th gradeA+, February 2003

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The Wars of Roses - histories nastiest family feud; a bloody clash between opposing royal families, that of York and Lancaster. The result of which would yield a king and its respective dynasty, ruling over the profound nation of England. Since the unity of England the crown was frequently up for grabs, obtainable to anyone strong enough to seize it. It led to the warfare of brothers against brothers; sons fought fathers. Even "In one instance, a daughter took the crown from her dad."(Washington Post, October 13, 1999). Among this familial warfare of kill or be killed, the Wars of Roses were fought. Henry V emerged victorious and began the Lancastrian line of kings; after taking the crown from his then murdered cousin, Richard.

Without question, Henry VIII's notoriety has been unrelenting by the image of a womanizing ogre who divorced or decapitated five of his six wives, but this is an incomplete portrait of a multifaceted man.

What's more, this "cruel tyrant" who could order a victim quartered, also was a Renaissance prince who philosophized with some of the greatest minds in Europe. Opposing this "Old King Cole" approach is the notion of a solely dubious man, a sex fiend, who married and divorced many for his own pleasures; commonly called the "bluebeard" approach. The contention could be drawn to his countless wives and their fates, but the justification behind it points indisputably to that of the former, the Old King Cole school of thought.

When Henry VIII took the throne after the death of his father it yielded a symbolic transition, that of the darkness of the Middle Ages to the glory of the Renaissance. Henry VII was noted as a "drab, suspicious man who overtaxed his people to fill empty government coffers"(NY Times, October 23, 2000) Arthur,