Keeper is a fictional character in William Shakespeare's play Henry VIII. The play, also known as All Is True," was written around 1613 and tells the story of the English King Henry VIII and his various wives and political struggles.
Keeper, whose full name is not mentioned in the play, is a minor character who serves as a jailer in the Tower of London. His primary role is to guard and oversee the imprisonment of the Duke of Buckingham, who has been accused of treason against the king.
As the Keeper of the Tower, he is responsible for ensuring that Buckingham remains in confinement until his trial. He is portrayed as a loyal and dutiful servant, following the orders given to him without question or hesitation.
Keeper's most notable scene in the play is his interaction with Buckingham when the Duke is brought to the Tower. Buckingham, who believes in his innocence, pleads with Keeper to show him mercy and allow him to escape. However, Keeper remains steadfast in his duty and refuses to let Buckingham go.
This scene highlights the conflict between loyalty and justice, as Keeper is torn between his duty to the king and his sympathy for Buckingham's pleas. Ultimately, Keeper's loyalty to the crown prevails, and he keeps Buckingham imprisoned until his trial and subsequent execution.
While Keeper's role in the play is relatively small, his character serves as a reminder of the strict hierarchy and authoritarian rule during King Henry VIII's reign. His unwavering dedication to his duty reflects the themes of obedience and loyalty that permeate the play.
Overall, Keeper's character adds depth to the portrayal of the Tower of London and the political climate of the time. Though he may be a minor character, his presence serves as a reminder of the consequences of crossing the king and the power dynamics that shaped the Tudor era.