Henry VIII

Back to List of Characters

Duke of Norfolk

The Duke of Norfolk is a captivating character in William Shakespeare's historical play Henry VIII. Known for his loyalty and fierce determination, the Duke of Norfolk is a prominent figure in the Tudor court and plays a significant role in the political and personal conflicts depicted in the play.

Born into a noble family, the Duke of Norfolk, also known as Thomas Howard, is a powerful and influential member of the English aristocracy. As a close ally of King Henry VIII, he holds a position of great authority and is often seen by the king's side, advising and supporting him in various matters.

With his tall stature, commanding presence, and strong personality, the Duke of Norfolk is a force to be reckoned with. He is renowned for his military prowess and has successfully led armies in battles, earning him a reputation as a skilled and fearless warrior.

However, it is not just his military achievements that make the Duke of Norfolk a compelling character. His loyalty to the crown and his unwavering commitment to the king's cause are admirable traits that define his character. He is willing to go to great lengths to protect the king's interests, even if it means sacrificing his own reputation or personal relationships.

A Complex Relationship with Cardinal Wolsey

One of the most intriguing aspects of the Duke of Norfolk's character is his complex relationship with Cardinal Wolsey, the powerful and manipulative advisor to the king. While they are both loyal to the king, their contrasting personalities and ambitions often lead to clashes and tension between them.

The Duke of Norfolk, being a man of integrity and honor, is suspicious of Wolsey's motives and questions his influence over the king. He sees Wolsey as a conniving and self-serving individual who seeks to further his own interests rather than serve the crown.

Throughout the play, the Duke of Norfolk finds himself torn between his loyalty to the king and his distrust of Wolsey. His struggle to navigate this delicate balance adds depth and complexity to his character and highlights the political intrigue and power struggles within the Tudor court.

In conclusion, the Duke of Norfolk is a captivating character in Henry VIII who embodies loyalty, honor, and strength. His unwavering commitment to the crown and his complex relationship with Cardinal Wolsey make him a fascinating figure to study and analyze. Shakespeare masterfully brings this historical character to life, showcasing the complexities of power and loyalty in the Tudor court.