Sunday, April 15, 2012

Question from Paul - Psychology of Henry VIII

Hi, I am trying to compose an article for my magazine assessing the psychology of Henry VIII. Not being a psychology student and little knowledge on the subject, I was wondering if anybody could point me in the right direction.

What aspects of his personality may be considered psychologically abnormal/normal?

Was his behavior un-balanced?

Did his behaviour develop in a radical way over time?

Please show me links to examples of his behaviour

Is there any good references I can easily find (internet if possible) out lining relevant terminology for his afflictions?

I know that is a lot to ask for but thanks in advance for any help

[Previous related threads are linked below. - Lara]


Sylwia said...

Hello Paul,

I would heartily recommend you book by Suzannah Lipscomb - "1536: the Year that changed Henry VIII". It is a really magnificent book that describes changes in Henry's psychology that year, and explores many different layers of his psychology.

Mary R said...

Was Henry VIII insane? Now there's an interesting question! I am tempted to say no, that it was just a case of absolute power corrupting absolutely.

However, it is widely held that Henry had syphilis (not sure when he contracted it) and that could have made him insane. Also, Henry had a way of convincing himself that anything he desired was God's will. If you apply the Mcnaughton rule (defined as: must be clearly proved that, at the time of committing the act, the party accused was labouring under such a defect of reason, from disease of the mind, as not to know the nature and quality of the act he was doing, or, if he did know it, that he did not know he was doing what was wrong.) Henry could have been considered legally insane!

Lara said...

Actually, the syphilis argument has been pretty well discredited. If you search this blog on the term you'll see some interesting comments about it in previous threads.