28 Read: Informative Speech Case Study 2 – Faith Informs about Tudor Dynasty

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*This sample was created in 2015


Hand this in as directed in the schedule.  Remember you will create a rough draft that we will cover in your SKYPE session = please place it in the rough draft dropbox. I will go over this draft with you during our SKYPE check in. THEN – after revisions, you will hand in a typed full-sentence (complete with your quoted sources in the text) version of this worksheet along with your bibliography and your audience analysis on the day of your speech presentation as well as within the drop box.  Bring a print copy to speaking day.


SPEECH TITLE: The Man, the Maidens, the Motives 


Topic: Why Henry VIII had six wives


Specific Purpose: To inform my audience about Henry VIII’s reasons for having six wives and several mistresses.



  1. What did you learn in response to your questions?
  • List the questions:
  1. On a scale of one to five, how much do you know about England’s Tudor dynasty?
    Nothing 1 2 3 4 5 Obsessed
  2. Did you know that Henry VIII had six wives and several mistresses?
    _ Yes _ No
  3. Why do you think someone would have multiple divorces and multiple wives?
  • Report the data. What was the “average” or “mean” response to the “fixed response” and the “ranked question?” You can find this out by simple division. If you need help, let me know. Summarize how the class responded to your open question:
  1. The average response to question one (my ranked question) was a 1.2
  2. The average response to question one (my fixed response question) was “No” (11 “no” responses and 7 “yes” responses) = 61%
  3. The class was all over the board with responses to the open question. Several were not sure and did not try to answer. Others thought he was bored or that he grew tired of his various wives. Very few hit the mark in their answers. Hopefully, my speech will clear up the confusion that was conveyed.
  4. What did you infer about your audience from this data?  In other words, what did you guess about us based upon your data. What did you infer about us from the responses?

I have inferred that many people don’t know history. Seriously, I think that the mythical version of King Henry Tudor VIII has been more widely popularized than the true historical version and so many people see him as a fictional character or some legend whose role in history they deem unimportant as the only thing most people know about him is that he had six wives. If the results from survey show anything, it shows that most people don’t even care about that anymore. From postings on the discussion boards, I have noticed not much of a history interest. I have noticed this through speech choices and the majority of people deciding not to look over my source defense post.

  1. How did you use the actual responses and you own inferences to adapt to your audience?   Address this thoughtfully in a paragraph. Be specific in your response (for example – I noticed that 5 women are getting married or have just gotten married, I inferred that a speech on how to plan your financial future could be targeted to younger couples so I wrote my speech on ….and included…etc.)

Through the responses and my inferences, I have figured that I shall not only have to clarify Henry’s motives for his marriages, but also remind my audience that he had six wives. I will use very clear and concise examples and include bits of Tudor history in each point. I will use graphs and bring my audience analysis into my speech in order to show that confusion around Henry VIII is wide-spread and that this is an important topic to inform people about. Hopefully, this information will awaken the history nerd in some people! I shouldn’t be as nervous as I am because this speech’s goal is to inform, I have all the freedom I want because people don’t really know my topic.







  1. Introduction


  1. Attention Material: “Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived,” these are the fates of Henry Tudor VIII’s six wives, or so this ditty that I learned as a child presumes. These manners of deaths are thought to be the fundamental part of Henry’s marriages.




  1. Tie to Audience: Historians and students are often confused by Henry VIII. They write him off as a crazy man who went through wives quickly, hoping to have a male heir. As seen in my audience analysis, this myth has penetrated the minds of everyone. Today, maybe you can learn more about Henry’s motives for his multiple marriages.




  1. Credibility Material: Having been fascinated by history since a young age, the era of the Tudor dynasty has drawn my interest. As I mentioned before, I am thinking about museum work and so I constantly am spending my time researching British history. With the majority of books I have recently bought being about the Tudors, I have broadened my mindset about the dynasty.



  1. Thesis & Preview: Why did Henry VIII actually have six wives? A deep look into Henry VIII’s life strips away the confusion and reveals many reasons for his multiple marriages. Three are the most prominent: his political aspirations, his mother’s legacy, and his sexual desires



Transition: Now let us pull back the curtains and take a look at Henry’s political aspirations.

II.                   Body


  1. First, Henry VIII became bound in so many marriages due to his political aspirations.


  1. Threats to the throne continued to arise.
    1. G.J. Meyer writes in his 2010 book, “During the 118 years of Tudor rule, England was a less weighty factor in European politics than it had been earlier, and nothing like the world power it would later become… five Tudors who occupied the throne” (Meyer, 2010).
    2. The Tudor dynasty ended the War of the Roses in England. The problem with the Tudors’ claim was that it was not the strongest one to the throne. There were many stronger claims to contend with. Because of this, it was necessary that the Tudor reign be strong.
  2. Although males were expected to rule, there was no English law against female monarchs taking the throne.
    1. Henry was the only living male Tudor. He was originally the second in line to the throne but the death of his brother sprung kingship upon him.
    2. Most failed so he manipulated his marriages in order to produce an heir. Even once his son was born, he needed a second one to ensure Tudor longevity. This need to stabilize the Tudor dynasty in England was maybe Henry’s most well-known reason for marriage.


Transition: As smoke around Henry clears, let us look at his mother’s legacy.


  1. A second reason for Henry’s quick turnover in women is the impact of his mother’s legacy.



  1. It has often been noted that little boys love their mothers.
    1. When boys are younger, they see their mothers as perfection and often hope to marry someone like them. My own brother used to tell my mom, “I love you forever.” Henry VIII was a boy like this.
    2. As museum worker and historian, Philippa Jones wrote in her 2009 book, “Elizabeth of York [Henry VIII’s mother] embodied perfection to Henry, a view endorsed by everyone at Court. She was beautiful, elegant, serene, gentle, loyal, loving – everything that a wife and queen should be” (Jones, 2009).
  2. Another historian and British native, G.J. Meyer noted in his 2010 novel, “His mother died when he was eleven” (Meyer, 2010).
    1. At the tender age of eleven, Henry could still see his mother through the eyes of a child. If he had grown up with his mother, he might have had a realistic approach to marriage.
    2. Yet, he grew up without a mother so his vision remained skewed. Henry’s quick turnover in women shows that his ideal, based upon his mother’s legacy, was, in fact, a false one.




Transition: There is one more layer to peel back and as we do we see Henry’s sexual desires.


  1. Finally, another motive for Henry VIII to surround himself with many women is sexual in nature.




  1. Social Class mattered to this group
    1. In Philippa Jones’s 2009 book, she writes, “They belonged to an age and to a social class that considered extramarital affairs for men as perfectly normal” (Jones, 2009). In Henry VIII’s age, infidelity seemed encouraged, thus endowing men with strong, sexual desires.
    2. Even today, Hollywood and other sources of media tell men that women are just objects for sexual attraction. In 16th century England, it was far better being a man with experience than a stranger to lovemaking. Henry’s wives certainly fulfilled his wishes most of the time.


  1. An “eye for the ladies” was not just a joke.
    1. In Historian and Curriculum writer, Judith John’s 2014 book, she writes, “Despite being 49 and very overweight, he still had an eye for the ladies” (John, 2014). Multiple historians have recognized that Henry’s sex drive continued into his fifties. This strong drive resulted in his marriage to nineteen year old Katherine Howard (she herself was very sexually promiscuous).
    2. Although Henry tried to find sexual contentment in many woman, he did not try to find practical happiness and maybe this is why he looked so hard for sexual love. Henry’s strong sexual desire is one of the ultimate reasons that he had many wives and many mistresses.





III. Conclusion


  1.       Brake Light: We have seen many layers to Henry VIII’s reasons for his multiple marriages.


  1. Summary: Through his six wives, Henry VIII tried to provide a secure claim to the English throne, find a replacement for his seemingly perfect mother, and deal with the sexual behaviors encouraged. Henry did not actually want many wives but one who was perfect, a role that he thought none of his filled.



  1. Tie Back to Audience:You do not have to be confused about Henry VIII’s reasons for marriage or scared away by his legendary “crazy” persona. Instead, you can understand that he thought he had legitimate reasons for his marriages. Maybe you can see history, not just as the past, but as a mystery that the present unlocks.



  1. Concluding Memorable Remarks: As the ever incorrect T.V. show “The Tudors” (2007-2010) correctly reminds us, “ You think you know a story, but you only know how it ends. To get to the heart of the story, you have to go back to the beginning” (Hirst, 2007-2010).




Works Cited

Hirst, M. (2007-2010). The Tudors: Quotes. Retrieved from IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0758790/quotes


John, J. (2014). A Dark History: Tudors. New York: Metro Books.


Jones, P. (2009). The Other Tudors: Henry VIII’s Mistresses and Bastards. New York: Metro Books.


Meyer, G. (2010). The Tudors: The Complete Story of England’s Most Notorious Dynasty. New York: Random House, Inc.







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The Public Speaking Resource Project Copyright © 2018 by Lori Halverson-Wente and Mark Halverson-Wente is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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