Anne Boleyn’s life and conflicts- historical background and the presentation in the film “the other Boleyn girl” What caused her downfall? Gliederung: | Titel | | 1. 0 | Introduction | | 2. 0 | Anne’s life | | 2. 1 | Youth and education | | 2. 2 | At the court | | 2. 3 | Queen of England | | 2. 4 | Downfall and Execution | | 3. 0 | Film “The other Boleyn Girl” | | 3. 1 | Plot | | 3. 2 | Analysis | | . 3 | Special Feature: The birth order | | 3. 4 | Cast and crew | | 3. 5 | Settings: Location and release | | 3. 6 | Scene analysis | | 3. 7 | Comparison grid | | 3. 8. | My personal review | | 4. 0 | Relationships | | 4. 1. 1 | Anne and Mary: In the film | | 4. 1. 2 | Anne and Mary: In reality | | 4. 2. 1 | Anne and Henry: In the film | | 4. 2. 2 | Anne and Henry: In reality | | . 3. 1 | Henry and Mary: In the film | | 4. 3. 2 | Henry and Mary: In reality | | 5. 0 | Conclusion of Anne’s conflict:What caused her downfall? | | Anne Boleyn: Introduction: Once there was a time between 1499 and 1507, somewhere in England , a girl was born. This girl was thought to be so insignificant and small, that nobody bothered to record the date, place or details of her birth. It was not until she was twelve that something at all was recorded about her.
However, this girl was named Anne Boleyn, and even though she started small and powerless and destitute, she became one of the greatest influences on King Henry VIII. Anne Boleyn was one of the first non-royal women to become Queen of England, which caused quite a turmoil in those times. She was also the mother of Elizabeth I, one of the greatest monarchs in the history of England and of the world itself and a co-founder of the new English Church. In my opinion history is written by winners. Like any visionary Anne Boleyn lived on the success – as long she was successful.
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But also like all visionaries, she moved her life on thin ice. What she wanted to achieve and achieved, was not backed up by experience or role models. So far, there were always a risk, and ultimately she failed. Of course after her failure, her opponents tried to reinterpret her successes as the result of devilish machinations. In the end she was not the winner. Instead, she became the devilish witch who enchanted the king to disunite the English church. In the following I am going to consider Anne’s life, always trying to understand why such a brilliant and well educated woman had to die so early.
So the question I am asking here is,what caused her downfall? For that I will regard her life and the different relationships she had. So, I decided to do my paper on Anne Boleyn, because for me, she was an intelligent woman who “became one of the principal figures in a hideous melodrama, a corrupt and involute series of intrigues,in which the mores of her contemporaries are now difficult to assess” (S. 15, Hester W. Chapman, Anne Boleyn, London, 1974). It was not really her fault, that she, or possibly Henry VIII could not produce a male heir.
I think Anne was neither a saint nor a devil,but she was a human being like everyone else with virtues and faults. That’s probably why I admire her so much and tend to dislike critics who usually only see her faults. She was a modern woman in her own time and I bet if she lived in the 21st century she would have fit right in. 2. 0 Anne’s Biography: 2. 1 Youth and Education: The tradition says, that Anne Boleyn was born in the Henver castle in the Weald of Kent. (Eric Ives, The life and death of Anne Boleyn, London, 2004).
Nevertheless most historians believe that Anne was born at the Blickling residence, because it was their location around 1500. Assuming, that Anne was born around 1500, the historians could be right with their presumption, but if you start with a birth date around 1507, one would assume Henver Castle may well be the birthplace. (The Encyclopedia Britannica and the Dictionary of National Biography give the date of Anne’s birth, as do several other historians, as 1507. ) Anne Boleyn was the daughter of Thomas Boleyn and Lady Elizabeth Howard and Anne was the maternal niece of the Duke of Norfolk.
Anne’s education began very early. Just with a few years Anne and her siblings had to learn what it means how to behave in the society. Their daily schedule was very well structured, so that there was not many time to play or doing nothing. Their daily practice includes learning several languages, for instance French, Italian and Latin, practicing dancing and playing instruments. “Music was the most important accomplishment, comprising the practice of lute, harp, ciol and virginals” (Hester W. Chapman, Anne Boleyn, London, 1974, p. 1) It was very important to the parents that Anne got a good education, so that she will get a good and hopefully noble husband. And Anne did well in her education. Her French was fluent at just a very early age. When Henry VIII’s younger sister Mary Tudor got married to king Louis XII of France, Anne was allowed to accompany the young princess as a lady-in-waiting. The great change, made in October 1514, was a big step for her education. Meanwhile her sister Mary Boleyn, who was close to her sister in age, was educated at the Court of the Hapsburg Archduchess Margaret in Brussels.
After a while Mary is sent to the french court, as well, so that both sisters became ladies-in-waiting. The sisters were taught impeccable manners and elegance, but music, poetry and dance, as well. (Wyatt, Extracts from the Life of the Virtous, Christian and Renowned Quenn Anne Boleyn, p. 2 ) During her early years in France Anne Boleyn acquired elegance and the sophistication of the French court. She also acquired her taste for beautiful and elegant clothes. Anne Boleyn returned to England after 7 years, which gave her a grand advantage in front of all the English ladies-in-waiting and mistresses.
There she could impress with her new witty, intelligent and ambitious behavior. 2. 2 At Henry VIII’s court (1522-1533): Hier fehlt eine Seite von ihrer Biografie. Die musst du nicht korrigieren :)!! 3. 0 Film: 3. 1 Plot: The romantic-drama movie “the other Boleyn Girl” portrays the famous era in England history during the reign of Henry VIII. The King desperately tries to get a male heir and not being terrified from divorce or execution, he plays with several lives to fulfill his wishes. At the same time there are the two Boleyn sisters, who reveals for the favor of the king.
The Boleyn sisters were firstly important when Thomas Howard, the Duke of Norfolk and his brother in law and at the same time father of Anne and Mary Boleyn, plan to install Anne in the court and life of Henry VIII of England, because his own wife Katherine of Aragon fails to give England a male heir. The intention of the plan is easy: Becoming the King’s mistress and potential mother of his son would further their own political ambitions. At first Anne refuses because she knows being a mistress can damage her reputation, but then she agrees to the plan.
Meanwhile Anne’s younger sister, Mary Boleyn marries William Carey, although he had asked for Anne’s hand. Her father thought Anne could marry somebody of noble and offered Mary as a substitute. While visiting the Boleyn residence, Henry is injured in a hunting accident, which was indirectly caused by Anne, and is nursed by Mary. While being in Mary’s care, Henry gets fascinated by her and invites her to his court. After some reluctance, Mary and William agree, because they know what is expected of her. Anne and Mary become Queen Katherine’s new mistresses and Henry sends William away on an assignment for the royal court.
Separated from her husband, Mary finds herself falling in love with Henry. Meanwhile Anne secretly marries the nobleman Henry Percy, who was already engaged to Mary Talbot. Anne is exiled to France in disgrace, because Mary tells their father and uncle to rescue the life and reputation of her sister. The men confront Anne, who argues that “what has been done before God can’t be undone and that the marriage has been consummated”. Nevertheless the marriage is annulled and she is exiled to France in disgrace. Feeling that Mary betrayed her to increase her own status, Anne vows revenge.
Mary becomes pregnant and of course the status of the family improves abruptly. However, Lady Elizabeth warns her family that favors of the king can be easily taken away, but nobody is listening to her. Thomas Boleyn becomes Earl of Wiltshire and George becomes Viscount Rochford and he against his will, George has to marry Jane Parker. When Mary is bedridden, her uncle Norfolk recalls Anne to England to keep Henry’s attention to the Boleyns. With big successes Anne ensnares Henry and shows him that she is finally grown up.
Henry so is fascinated by her, that he agrees to her request which includes that Henry is not allowed to neither see or speak to Mary or his own wive. Anne even gets Henry to break from the Roman Catholic Church when the Pope refuses to annul his marriage to Queen Katherine so that Henry can marry Anne. Finally Henry agrees with Anne’s demands, breaks from the Roman Catholic Church. After that a new church is needed, so he declares himself Supreme Head of the Church of England, and gets Thomas Wolsey to annul his marriage to Katherine.
The scandal of Anne’s brief marriage to Henry Percy threatens her upcoming marriage to Henry until Mary, the only one Henry really trusts, returns to court and lies on Anne’s wish, by telling the king that the marriage with Percy was not consummated. Being married to the King of England and pregnant, Anne needs every help which she can get, so her sister Mary is re-ordered to the court. Anne and Mary reach kind of a reconciliation and Mary stays with her sister at court trying to support her. Meanwhile Mary meets William Stafford, a brave soldier in the English army, and the two fall deeply in love.
Although Anne gives birth to a healthy daughter called Elizabeth, Henry is mad at Anne’s failure to deliver a son and legitimate male heir to the throne. For Anne’s slowly decaying psyche his secret meetings with Jane Seymour are not helpful. After she loses a son after birth, a hysterical Anne begs her brother George to impregnate her since her own husband will not lie with her. First he is shocked, but knowing the fact, how important this son is for his sister, he agrees. When he accepts to help his sister, Mary runs away, because she is disgusted by them.
However, George is not strong enough to make it and begins to cry before the siblings sleep with each other. So Anne decides that they should not sleep with each other. Nevertheless, George’s wife, Jane, witnesses enough of their try to reports what she has seen and both Anne and George are arrested. Despite a lack of evidence, the two are found guilty and condemned to death for adultery, incest and treason. Mary returns to court to bed for her siblings’ lives. Arriving too late to save her brother’s life, who was already executed, she begs Henry to spare her sister, referring to Anne as part of herself.
The king calms and tells her he would never harm any part of her. Believing that Henry would spared her sister, Mary leaves to see her sister. The two sisters embrace each other and truly reconcile with one another. Before she leaves, Anne asks Mary to promise to take care of Elizabeth if anything should happen to her. Mary watches from the crowd as Anne makes her final speech, waiting for the execution to be cancelled as Henry promised. A letter from Henry is given to Mary, which reveals he has decided not to stop the execution and save Anne.
It also tells Mary that she was only spared because of his respect for her and warns her never to come to court again. Horrified, she watches as her sister is beheaded. Mary then fulfills her last promise to Anne and leaves court with the toddler Elizabeth. The closing captions reveal that Thomas Boleyn, disgraced and alone, died two years after Anne and George’s executions. Elizabeth Boleyn died a year after her husband while The Duke of Norfolk was later imprisoned in the tower. The next three generations of his family – son, grandson and great-grandson were all executed for treason.
True to her word, Elizabeth Boleyn never saw or spoke to her husband and brother again. Henry’s break from the Roman Catholic Church changed the face of England forever. Meanwhile, Mary married William Stafford and lived happily with him and their children away from the royal court for the rest of her life. The captions also reveal that Henry should not have been concerned about leaving England with a strong heir because, in fact, he did: An heir who would rule England for forty-five years and transform it into one of the most powerful nations in Europe.
However, it was not the son he desired, but the strong red-haired girl Anne gave him: Queen Elizabeth I. 3. 2 Analysis: In the following I will discuss some aspects in more detail, but not all, because most things as the plot or the individual relationships already occurred in the other texts. As the title of a film is always found at the beginning, I’ll start with the consideration of it. The most special part of the title is that its meaning changes during the film. The term the ‘other’ Boleyn girl is very vague and so the viewer has a 50:50 chance to guess who of the Boleyn sisters is meant by this term.
In one of the first scenes, Mary’s wedding, the audience gets to know who is the ‘other’ of the sisters and it is Anne, because she says to her sister shortly before the ceremony that Mary is younger than her and more beautiful than Anne, as well. Moreover, Mary is married before her sister. That leads Anne to the conclusion that she is just the ‘other’ Boleyn Girl. But during the film the owner of this term changes because soon after Mary got pregnant and Anne returned from France, the king has directed his attention to Anne. So Mary is sent away and becomes just the ‘other’ Boleyn girl.
But regarding the whole film it is obvious, that mainly Mary is meant by this description. That matches with the author’s opinion towards the sisters. For Gregory it is too bad that most people have forgotten Mary Boleyn, just because she was pushed away through the other Boleyn girl. That was the reason why she wrote the novel from Mary’s angle, as well. (http://www. philippagregory. com/work/tudor/the-other-boleyn-girl/philippas-quest-for-the-truth-about-mary-boleyn/). Nevertheless the film makers considered Natalie Portman and that means Anne as the first leading actress.
Now I am going to describe the opening credits and how it is relevant for the whole. The film starts with a little race of the siblings when they were young. At the beginning Mary is first and Anne second, followed by their brother George. Then with a ploy that Anne cannot run so fast, Mary slowed her pace and Anne overtakes her sister and becomes first in the race. This little incident perfectly shows the history of the sisters’ power relations. First Mary is the one who gets all the attention of Henry VIII, but that changes during the film when Anne appears at court and attracts all the attention.
If you look at the two aspects again, one can easily see that it’s actually all about Henry. If he feels attracted to Mary, Anne is the ‘other’ Boleyn girl and after Anne appears again in his life, Mary takes over this term. That leads me to the film’s theme. The main theme in the film is definitely power corruption. Both, King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn have such a drive for power that it becomes destructive for them in the end. The king would do anything, even murder, for getting a male heir and his wife Anne is not better. She even ruins the life of her siblings just to get what she wants.
It is amazing enough that she really tries to become Queen of England and achieves it, as well. In a way both ultimately failed because Anne was executed for her not customizable lust for power and crazy ways and the king failed in producing a male heir. So actually he produced one and Jane Seymour gave birth to him in the end, but it was not the long-awaited successor. This part was already reserved for little Elizabeth, Anne’s daughter. Blessed with all the good qualities of her family she ruled England to a whole new era and becomes the most important Queen of England in the entire history. 3. Special Feature: The birth order of the siblings: The most significant aspect of the comparison between the reality and the film would definitely be the order of birth. We can never really be sure about the real birth order, but through the years a number of different sources were found from which we can define the approximate dates of birth of the sisters. The parents of the siblings married in 1500, so the two could not be born before that date. (Vgl. David Starkey, Six Wives, The Queens of Henry VIII, Random, 2003. ) Later historians tried to establish her birth date, but they always varied from the earliest possible date: 1500 (Vgl.
Gregorio Leti(1630-1701), 1693. Historia overo Vita di Elisabetta, Regina d’Inghilterra. ) to 1507 (Vgl. :William Camden (1551-1623), The history of the princess Elizabeth, Flower-de-luce, 1675). It is handed, that Anne Boleyn had to be nearly thirty when she was executed in 1536 (Vgl. ) which would support the 1507 date, and when her body was exhumed in the Victorian period the archaeologists then thought she had been between twenty five and thirty at the time of her death. (Alison Weir, S. 167, The six wives of Henry VIII,1991, Groove Press), which would suggest a birth date of 1511.
So we have a range of possible birth dates for Anne, in the eleven years from 1500 to 1511. We have no date of birth for Mary Boleyn at all, but since she was married in 1520, she would have been sexually mature at that age, so she could not have been born after 1508 (vgl. S. 40 ;Mary Boleyn-the true Story of Henry VIII’s favorite mistress, Josephine Wilkinson, 2009). So the specific birth dates of the siblings are unknown, as is the order of their births. We only know that all three Boleyn siblings were close in age. (http://englishhistory. net/tudor/monarchs/boleyn. html). 3. 4 Cast and Crew:
One of the leading role, Anne Boleyn, is played by Natalie Portman who was attracted to the role describing Anne as “strong yet she can be vulnerable and she’s ambitious and calculating and will step on people but also feels remorse for it. “One month before filming began, Portman started taking daily classes to master the English accent under dialect coach Jill McCulloch. Ironically, Anne spoke with a French accent because she was raised in France. (http://www. girl. com. au/natalie-portman-the-other-boleyn-girl-interview. htm). Anne’s sister Mary Boleyn is the other leading role and played by Scarlett Johansson.
For the young actress the film was a big hurdle, because for her it is “such a melodramatic tale”. (http://www. dailymail. co. uk/debate/columnists/article-403137/Scarletts-Royal-scandal. html) The third leading role is taken by Eric Bana, who plays Henry VIII of England. For Bana this role was a great offer, because he describes the character of Henry as “a man who was somewhat juvenile, and driven by passion and greed”, and that he interpreted the character as “this man who was involved in an incredibly intricate, complicated situation, largely through his own doing” (http://www. ilmmonthly. com/paul_fischer_exclusive/bana_takes_on_kings_and_icons. html) Other characters (http://www. fandango. com/theotherboleyngirl_v353424/castandcrew): Jim Sturgess as George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford Kristin Scott Thomas as Elizabeth Boleyn, Countess of Wiltshire and Ormond Mark Rylance as Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire David Morrissey as Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk Benedict Cumberbatch as William Carey Oliver Coleman as Henry Percy, 6th Earl of Northumberland Ana Torrent as Katherine of Aragon Eddie Redmayne as William Stafford Juno Temple as Jane Parker
Iain Mitchell as Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex Corinne Galloway as Jane Seymour Bill Wallis as Archbishop Cranmer Crew: The film “The other Boleyn Girl” was directed by newcomer Justin Chadwick and the screenplay was adapted by Peter Morgan from the 2001 bestselling-novel “The other Boleyn Girl” by Philippa Gregory. Historical circumstances – by Gregory told in detail over 600 pages – can be reduced by screenwriter Peter Morgan on several obvious scenes. Even though, it reveals how women have been abused, but at the same time possessed of more power than many men had. http://www. cineman. de/movie/2008/TheOtherBoleynGirl/review. html) 3. 5 Settings: Most of the shooting took place in Kent, England, although the real Hever Castle was not used, which was the original household of the Boleyns from 1505-1539. For the Tower of London the Baron’s Hall at Penshurst Place and the Knole House in Sevenoaks were used in some scenes, The home of the Boleyns was represented by Great Chalfield Manor in Wiltshire, and other scenes were filmed at locations in Derbyshire, including Cave Dale, Haddon Hall, Dovedale and North Lees Hall near Hathersage. http://www. visitpeakdistrict. com/be-inspired/boleyn-girl. aspx). The world premiere was at the 58th Berlin International Film Festival held on February 7-17, 2008, but the film was released in theaters on February 29, 2008. The combined worldwide gross of the film was $75,598,644 more than double the film’s $35 million budget. (http://www. boxofficemojo. com/movies/? page=intl&id=otherboleyngirl. htm) 3. 6 Comparison grid: The film | The reality | -Historical fiction | -Reality | Emotional | -Neutral and objective | “loose, airy fantasy-novel mentality ” | Serious historical events | William Carey just disappears | William Carey dies of the sweat fiver | Characters and relationships are decorated and filled | Real behavior and characteristics of the characters are just assumable | Boleyn lineage: badge of honor (why? ) | Personal pride and historical importance | Mens’ will: sexiness and power | Not handed | Incest relationship with George B. Inappropriate relationships with others, too | The spending time of the sisters in France is not mentioned | The time in France was very important for the education of the sisters | Anne is the older sister | The birth order is not proven | Mary is presented as a shy country girl | Mary is a lively girl | Mary had just an affair with the king | Mary had several affairs with some kings | Anne: not interested in religion | Supporter of the religious reforms | Anne’s accusations seem to be right | It is proven hat they were wrong | Kind of “soap opera” | Real history | 3. 7 Scene analysis of the banquet scene: In the banquet scene from “The other Boleyn girl” the audience is introduced into the English court. To begin, I am going to present the plot of the scene. It is the first evening at court, so Anne and her siblings are going to the court’s banquet. First Mary is nervous and unconfident but talking to her friend Stafford helps her to relax. Anne is still mad at her sister and family for deciding Mary to be the king’s new mistress. It would not be Anne, if she would sulk for a long time.
After a while, she has already chosen someone new to bewitch and enchant. So she tries to find a way back to be admired and for the admirer she picks no one else than the already engaged Henry Percy. They both flirt with each other. Meanwhile she is dancing with her brother, who has his own little problems. Jane Parker, a sneaky, insane and very loyal lady-in-waiting of Katharina of Aragon, has her eye on him. The problem is that he feels exactly the opposite. The harmon dance and flirty scene gets interrupted, when the king appears on the scene. He paves his way to Mary, just to tell her that he is expecting her tonight. Mary becomes pale and seems to be depressed. Moreover, Anne has observed the scene.
Being hurt and mad by the behavior of the king and her sister she suddenly has no more desire to flirt with Henry Percy. In the banquet scene you can group the different persons. First, there are Mary and Stafford, who are talking to each other. Then there are Anne and her brother where one must add Anne flirting Henry Percy, flirting with Anne, and George observing Jane Parker. Of course you cannot forget the majesty, the king, but he is presented as a sole ruler without anyone around him, but guardianship. Less important and without text, you can notice Sir Thomas Boleyn, the father of the siblings, the Duke of Norfolk, their uncle and of course Mary’s husband, William Carey. Now I am going to present the scene’s function.
One the one hand there is the obvious aim of introducing the court’s world to the audience but the actual intention of this scene is definitely to show all the different relationships. This scene includes many prospects, as well, so that the audience can imagine for themselves what will further happen. First, there are Mary and Stafford. They will marry later in the film and move to the countryside again. Then there are Anne and Henry Percy. They will marry, as well, but in contrast to her sister’s marriage this one will be annulled by Anne’s father and Anne gets exiled for that. Then there is George, who will marry, as well, but different to his sisters, he is forced to that act by his family and the choice fell on none other than Jane Parker, the only woman he loathes. Now I will place the scene in the overall context.
Being showed after half an hour, you cannot really say that it is at the beginning, but nevertheless it is the opening scene for the second part of the film, the time at the English court. As you can imagine, this scene is followed by the first night of Mary and Henry. Furthermore the balance of power will change soon, when Henry loses interest in Mary and turns himself to the ‘other’ Boleyn Girl, Anne. Now I am going to present the cinematography of the scene. It starts with a close up of Mary Boleyn, whose face shows a curious expression and glides into a tracking movement which changes into a medium shot, because Mary walks deeper into the room and finally disappears in the crowd.
The camera angle changes into a high angle camera to give the audience an impression of the whole banquet. Simultaneously it still tracks Mary. Then there is a close up of Sir Thomas Boleyn, because Mary meets him during her way through the crowd. She implies a bow and goes out of the shot, leaving a desperate Thomas in the picture. Turning into a medium shot, because Mary paused, the camera reverse-angel shot to show what Mary sees, and that are her siblings who talk to each other. Then there is a fast change of medium shots between Anne and George and Jane Parker, The siblings are talking about her, so the shot shows her as well, to give the audience an impression of her.
Turning away from Jane, the shot changes to Mary again, whose finally stopped her way and is found by Stafford. The shot changes from medium to close on an eye-level shot, because there are too many dancing people around them. Talking about Anne and her flirting with Henry Percy the camera tracks Anne and shows close-ups of her smiling and Henry’s fascinated face. The scene gets interrupted by a knock which announces the king’s entry. It starts with a long shot, which changes into a medium, because the king walks towards the camera. Between the shot a close up of Anne’s bewildered face is shown. Then the laughing Mary and her friend Stafford are shown in a close up. The laughing stops right away, when Mary discovers the king.
After telling her the word “tonight” he walks away again and Mary’s scared face is shown in a extreme close up. The camera changes again to show the audience Anne’s reaction of this act. She seems composed, but with her behavior and her body language, which is shown in the medium shot, the audience gets to know that she is totally upset inwardly and leaves the stage. Then it changes to a close up of Mary’s husband and her uncle. Both of them react completely differently. The Duke is proud that his plan starts to work and smiles but William Carey drinks the rest of his wine with one gulp and seems to be very desperate. The last shot is a close up of the satisfied face of the king.
As he walks out of the shot the audience can notice a completely anxious and scared Mary. Her face is the last shot of the scene. The scene, like the whole film, uses an actually normal language. Of course, there is no colloquial language but also no real ancient language. To sum up, you can say that I have chosen this scene because I think that it is a good scene to get a good overview of all the different relationships. 3. 8 My own review: As far as I can see, the makers of the film did very well by adapting the novel written by Philippa Gregory. So, one can say that it is not their fault that the novel is more like a romantic drama, which consists mostly of sexual and emotional relationships.
Every relationship goes through ups and downs and the entire movie consists of them. It presents how different relationships are established to each other and stand in the way of another. For me, the several relationships were implemented well and you could follow the course of the individual relationships very easily. What I dislike about the film is, that people who have no foreknowledge can not understand the film right away. There are too many names or incidents which stay unexplained. For example, the missing introducing of Stafford and the lack of explaining the family’s rejection towards him. Or the fate of Mary’s husband. I know it because I read the novel but most of the viewers can only guess that he died.
One could assume that they skipped them because they are not important for the main plot but for me a good film somehow brings in all the details and guides the audience, so that it does not lose the track. All in all, one can say that the film is actually made very well because we still have to remember that this is fiction and made to be entertaining and keep the readers interest. As far as I can see one of the things that is most enjoyable about historical fiction is learning about characters and events we think we know and getting a completely different angle. Novelists have always had artistic license and should be allowed to interpret things in ways that entertain.
If you want straight facts you shouldn’t expect to get it from a work of fiction like this novel and the resulting film. That is what I learned through the work with the film and the novel. Having said that, Gregory knows her history and I for one trust her interpretations. It’s also her right as a novelist to either stick rigidly to known facts or play with it as much as she likes. So I cannot criticize that the facts are actually totally different. I just can compare them. Peter Morgan, for his part, did his job very well by adapting the novel, because he neither changed the weight of the informations Gregory wanted to give her audience nor changed the period of the novel. The only thing he changed, and what could be criticized is the point of view.
In the novel the story was told from Mary’s point of view, but the film was more about everyone in the plot to get ahead using the sisters. To sum up, I can tell you that the film has succeeded really well and has remained the spirit of Gregory’s novel. It is and remains a historical fiction so we have to look at it that way. 4. 0 Relationships: 4. 1 Anne and Mary: 4. 1. 1 in the film: Like we already concluded, the whole film is made on a very emotional level. The relationships of the different characters are definitely in the center of the film. Especially Mary’s and Anne’s. In the following I’m going to describe and analyze the totally different characters.
On the one hand you can say, that there are characteristics, which do not change in the whole film, but on the other hand particularly Anne’s behavior towards her sister changes from acceptance to jealousy, from love to hate. Of course, Mary is not so naive so that she does not customize her behavior but in the end you can notice that Mary still loves her sister and never stopped it. But let’s start at the beginning. Mary’s wedding with William Carey is the first incident which caused a breach in the relationship. For that you have to know, that in the film the birth order is arranged like this: George is the oldest, then comes Anne as the oldest sister and Mary was the last of the three surviving Boleyn children.
So of course it is an insult and a humiliation for Anne that her younger sister is marrying before she is married. What Anne does not know, is that it was the aim of her father that his favorite daughter Anne marries somebody of noble. Through his eyes the viewer gets to know a lot of characteristics. To the father, Anne is smarter and stronger than her sister. Whereas Mary is the one with the friendly and uncomplicated behavior. For those days, she had all the properties a good and honest wife had to have. With her open-minded and naive ways, it is obvious that Mary loves Anne more than Anne loves her sister. Anne is always driven by jealousy because Mary is definitely the prettier one of them.
The relationship gets another little break when Mary becomes Henry’s mistress after Anne tried so hard to get his attention. Like the incident with Mary’s marriage, it is so humiliating for Anne. Being at the Court just as ‘the other Boleyn Girl’, is something which Anne can not accept. She focusses on other things and without the knowledge of her family she marries Henry Percy. Doing an inappropriate act like this, takes consequences with it. Anne is sent to France because her sister Mary betrayed her by telling their father about the marriage. Not because she wanted to be mean but more for trying to rescue the life and reputation of her beloved sister.
The whole power relations changes in the middle of the film, where Mary gets pregnant and Anne’s exile in France ends, so that she could come back to court to entertain the king and always remembering him of Mary. From that moment everything changes for Anne. With her new education she knows, how to act. She becomes provocative in a very amusing way, which pleasant the king. Mary is not longer necessary and the relationship of the two sister breaks totally when Henry does not take any note of his own son. When Anne becomes the Queen of England and Mary’s presence at court is not longer important, she is sent to the countryside. Now and then she is re-ordered to court when Anne needs her help and each time she comes without being mean. She is always there to help. On the day of Anne’s execution she even goes to Henry to beg for her sister’s life.
That shows, that Mary loved her sister until the end. After Anne’s execution, Mary takes her niece Elizabeth with her to countryside to raise her so that she could fulfill Anne’s last wish. Their relationship, how it is presented in the film, is the perfect one to show us, that it does not matter what you are doing to your sister or brother, you are always forgive them. Mary’s whole life was taken by Anne and nevertheless she still stands there at Anne’s execution to give her hope and take her fear away. 4. 1. 2 In reality: It is obvious, that the film just created this whole relationship’s ups and downs. There are not any proven documents which include all this. (… In reality of course everything is different. Like it is always. There was not this close relationship like it was presented in the film. For most historians Mary Boleyn was not such an important person in Anne’s life. Phillipa Gregory, the author of the novel “the other Boleyn Girl” has a different opinion. (Vgl: Seite ?? meiner Facharbeit) Nevertheless, there are not so many facts about the relationship of the sisters but you can probably say that their relationship was not something spectacular because they did not spend so much time together. When Anne was at the french Court together with Mary Tudor, her sister still lived with her family.
She moved to the court alone and then after several years (? ) Anne appeared there, too. I do not think that there was the whole rivalry like it was presented in the novel and in the film. That’s probably because they never really shared the King. When Mary was his mistress, Anne was not even interested in him, but more in increasing her french education. After the liason Henry dropped Mary and searched for a new mistress. We do not know, if there were one or even more than one mistresses between Mary and Anne, so their paths have never really crossed (Vgl.??? ). After Anne became Queen of England nobody took care of Mary anymore. And that increases when Mary married her love Stafford.
Knowing the fact, that it was forbidden for Mary coming to the court again, we can definitely say that she never returned. Not to convince Henry of Anne’s innocence and virginity and not for her execution. That was just made up in the film (?? ). Surprisingly, some characteristics stayed almost the same. From what we know, or I should say, from what we assume, Mary was the prettier sister of them but Anne could compete against her with her uniquely french education upon fashion and flirtation. She was a cultivated musician, singer and dancer. ((http://englishhistory. net/tudor/monarchs/boleyn. html). I can imagine, that their relationship was probably really close when they were young.
The age difference was very small, so they were apparently educated together. Another instance could be that their family status in the society and at the court was not so high. The Boleyns were not destituted or poor, but not a member of the bourgeois society at all. (Vgl: S. 4 The life and death of Anne Boleyn, Eriv Ives, 2004). Knowing this fact, we can assume, that the children lived closely together in one house without having so much staff. Nevertheless, you can not say that Anne and Mary were best friends. But it is possible and assumable as well, because it is handed that Anne was the only person of the Boleyns who still loved Mary after all her liasons. Erlauterung: Mary had a not really confirmed affair with King Francis I of France and several others in France; the unauthorized marriage to William Stafford) From what I’ve gathered from various history books, Mary Boleyn was certainly not the enlightened 21st century woman that Gregory made her out to be. Mary was politically simple and selfish. You could actually say, that there was a role reversal. In the reality Anne is the solicitous and protective one, whereas Mary takes over the part of the care-free and still fun-seeing sister. 4. 2 Henry and Anne: 4. 2. 1 in the film: Actually you have to split the relationships in the one between the King and his mistress Anne and the one between a husband and his wife.
But I will regard the relationships as one to show who combining this two relationships ultimately leads to their fail. But let’s start at the beginning. Henry first meets Anne at a visit in her father’s house. There he is more disinclined because in his opinion she is too emancipated. On the chase he tries to be brave and had an accident which was caused by Anne. With her male behavior she reaches the opposite of what she actually wanted to get. All in all, her overtures ended when Mary is sent to the court to be Henry’s mistress. After her secret marriage with Henry Percy, Anne was sent to France to learn how to behave as a young unmarried woman.
Being back at court, Henry gets to know a whole new side of Anne. Now she learned how to use her strong emancipation, so that Henry is fascinated of her fresh, all new ambitious and strong kind. She acts as a very well behaved and educated woman. So you can really say, that she enchantes him in a fascinating way. Being the King of England, Henry can gets whatever he wants and is allowed to rule above everything. But Anne wants to be free and denies him. So I think, for the first time in his life, Henry had to chase after a woman so hard, but in the end he did not win Anne as mistress which was his actual aim, but as wife, which is actually hard to believe for those days.
One can hardly imagine that a man who is so powerful and always seems so incorruptible, was so crazy after a woman that he separated a whole nation from the catholic church just to marry her just to sleep with her. I think there was never any kind of love, but more envy and desire and maybe a kind of affection. 4. 2. 2 in reality Anne is first noticed at the English court and from Henry when she played a part of Perseverance in the Shrove Tuesday pageant of 1522. (compare Anne Boleyn, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography,London, 1885). Henry fell passionately in love with Anne, and expected her to become his mistress. But rebellious Anne refused, which started a chain of events which ended in England’s break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Throughout history, people always have wondered why Anne held out for so many years before marrying Henry. It must have been a challenge, as Henry was King of England and very powerful. What made Anne behave so differently? There are several possible explanations. One involves Anne’s love for Henry Percy. Another factor in Anne’s refusal to become Henry’s mistress was her sister Mary’s involvement with the King. But Henry ended the affair when Mary became pregnant. All in all, Mary did not benefit noticeably from her relationship with Henry VIII. This undoubtedly was a factor in Anne’s decision to withhold her favors from the King. Henry was determined to divorce Catherine and marry Anne.
Catherine refused to give him a divorce, and the Catholic Church would not support Henry’s position. So Henry founded the English Church. I doubt that there were a greater declaration of love in the entire world history. After achieving their goals, Henry and Anne expected to be happy. Unfortunately, this did not happen. They were both tired and edgy from the stresses of the past several years. In addition, Henry started losing interest in Anne shortly after he fully attained her favors. Henry also finally realized how much his marriage to Anne had cost him. A number of good people, including friends and associates of Henry’s, had lost their lives due to loyalty and treason issues stemming from the English church’s break from Rome. After a