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King John by William Shakespeare

King John

by William Shakespeare

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
King John's right to the throne is being challenged by the king of France. He believe's John's nephew, Arthur, should be the king. Conflict ensues and alliances shift as they struggle for power. King John was less memorable than some of the other histories, but it still held some powerful moments. There's one scene where a mother grieves for her child and no matter the context, it's a heartbreaker:

“Grief fills the room up of my absent child, Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me... My life, my joy, my food, my all the world!”

Lady Constance was a melodramatic character that I would love to see portrayed on the stage. Like all of Shakespeare's plays, this one had beautiful lines, but overall it's not a new favorite.

“Grow great by your example, and put on the dauntless spirit of resolution.
Away, and glister like the god of war
When he intendeth to become the field.
Show boldness and aspiring confidence.”

“Mad world, mad kings, mad composition (agreement)!” ( )
  bookworm12 | Jul 9, 2018 |
Quite a strange one this - very accessible and lots of linear, quick-paced and emotive action but some jarring ends to scenes and the leaving of some fairly important action off of the stage left an unfinished feeling to the whole.

I enjoyed it for the straight forwardness of the story but there just wasn't the polished gloss of the better plays. ( )
  MartynChuzz | Feb 22, 2016 |
This was my least favorite of the histories that I've read (and that is sad because he is my umpteenth grandfather). Shakespeare sticks pretty much to the facts (which is unusual) though he condensed things into a much shorter time frame. And considering he did make some deviations, I thought he might a well have made some better ones to make a more interesting story. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
This was my least favorite of the histories that I've read (and that is sad because he is my umpteenth grandfather). Shakespeare sticks pretty much to the facts (which is unusual) though he condensed things into a much shorter time frame. And considering he did make some deviations, I thought he might a well have made some better ones to make a more interesting story. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
When King Richard the Lion-hearted dies, there are two potential heirs to the throne of England and her French territories. Richard’s brother, Geoffrey, had a young son named Arthur who is the rightful king according to the laws of succession. Their father’s will, however, named his younger son, John, as the heir. John takes the throne, and his nephew’s mother appeals to the French monarchy to enforce her son’s right to throne. France threatens England with war if John won’t give the crown to Arthur, a marriage between the families brings a temporary peace, John refuses to recognize the Catholic Church’s authority in his kingdom, the Church appeals to France to destroy John for being a heretic, and the two countries go to war.

I like Shakespeare’s history plays. After doing a bit of research, I realize that he took some liberties with the plot, but that’s understandable. The battle scenes were kept to a minimum, which was a plus for me, and the poetry of some of the speeches was quite nice. This is one of his lesser-known plays, and I don’t see a reason for it other than the fact that the historical characters and incidents portrayed aren’t quite as famous. ( )
  AmandaL. | Jan 16, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (129 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
William Shakespeareprimary authorall editionscalculated
Braunmuller, Albert RichardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Farjeon, HerbertEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Furness, Horace Howard, JrEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gibson, RexEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harrison, G. B.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Honigmann, E. A. J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hudson, Henry N.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kittredge, George LymanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lander, Jesse M.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McEachern, ClaireEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McEachern, Claire ElizabethEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morgan, AppletonEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mowat, Barbara A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Orgel, StephenEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ribner, IrbingEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rolfe, William J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tobin, J. J. M.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Williams, Stanley T.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, John DoverEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, RichardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
Now, say, Chatillon, what would France with us?
Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale

Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man.
This England never did, nor never shall,

Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This work is for the complete King John only. Do not combine this work with abridgements, adaptations or "simplifications" (such as "Shakespeare Made Easy"), Cliffs Notes or similar study guides, or anything else that does not contain the full text. Do not include any video recordings. Additionally, do not combine this with other plays.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743484983, Mass Market Paperback)

FOLGER Shakespeare Library

The world's leading center for Shakespeare studies

Each edition includes:

• Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play

• Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play

• Scene-by-scene plot summaries

• A key to famous lines and phrases

• An introduction to reading Shakespeare's language

• An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play

• Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library's vast holdings of rare books

Essay by Deborah T. Curren-Aquino

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare's printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit www.folger.edu.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:39 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

King John of England is pitted against the united powers of France, Brittany, Austria and the Papacy. Will England be destroyed by his fatal indecision? As alliances are made, broken and remade, the paranoid and erratic John reveals his weakness and reliance on those around him, including his powerful mother Queen Elinor and Faulconbridge, the cynical and witty bastard son of the dead King Richard I.… (more)

» see all 10 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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