Henry VIII

Back to List of Characters

Bishop Lincoln

Bishop Lincoln is a significant character in the play Henry VIII written by William Shakespeare. Although his role is relatively minor, he plays a crucial part in the political and religious intrigue that unfolds throughout the play.

Bishop Lincoln is a respected member of the Catholic Church and holds a position of authority within the clergy. His loyalty lies with the Catholic faith, and he is deeply committed to upholding its traditions and doctrines. This makes him a staunch opponent of the Protestant Reformation that is sweeping across England during the time period in which the play is set.

Throughout the play, Bishop Lincoln is depicted as a powerful and influential figure. He is often seen advising Cardinal Wolsey, who is one of the play's central characters. Bishop Lincoln's influence is evident in his ability to shape Cardinal Wolsey's decisions and actions, especially when it comes to matters of religion.

Conflict with Archbishop Cranmer

One of the most significant moments involving Bishop Lincoln occurs when he clashes with Archbishop Cranmer. This conflict arises due to their differing religious beliefs and their opposing views on the English Reformation. While Bishop Lincoln vehemently opposes the Protestant movement, Archbishop Cranmer is a staunch supporter of it.

The clash between Bishop Lincoln and Archbishop Cranmer is a pivotal moment in the play as it highlights the deep divisions within the Catholic Church and the wider society at the time. It also serves as a catalyst for the political and religious tensions that continue to escalate throughout the play.

Despite his limited stage time, Bishop Lincoln's character is integral to the overall narrative of Henry VIII. His unwavering commitment to the Catholic faith and his opposition to the Protestant Reformation add depth and complexity to the play's exploration of religious and political power struggles.