The Life and Death of King John ePUB Ï and Death

The Life and Death of King John ePUB Ï and Death

The Life and Death of King John ➸ [Read] ➳ The Life and Death of King John By William Shakespeare ➽ – King John, a history play by William Shakespeare, dramatises the reign of John, King of England ruled 1199 1216 , son of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine and father of Henry III of England and Death Kindle Ó King John, a history play by William Shakespeare, dramatises the reign of John, King of England ruled , son of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine and father of The Life Kindle - Henry III of England It is believed to have been written in the mid s but was not published until it appeared in the First Folio in .

10 thoughts on “The Life and Death of King John

  1. Aishu Rehman Aishu Rehman says:

    The play is a wonderful mix of history and ironic commentary, one of two plays of Shakespeare s that is entirely in verse the other one is RICHARD II, which he wrote just before KING JOHN , and it s tragically poetic and satiric in equal measure Shakespeare never wrote anything else quite like it If he wrote better plays, they were also different kinds of plays this one is unique.KING JOHN has one of Shakespeare s best death scenes and a character, Faulconbridge the bastard son of Richard the Lion Hearted.Faulconbridge is there to make cynical comments, and yet remain loyal to King John, who almost, but not quite, becomes a child murderer in the course of the action Earlier, the complexities of wartime politics are revealed when a town refuses to admit either the King of England or the King of France as its rightful ruler until the two kings have fought out the question first whereupon the two kings decide to agree on a truce, just long enough to wipe the town out together, then go back to fighting one another.

  2. Bill Kerwin Bill Kerwin says:

    This is perhaps Shakespeare s worst play, and certainly the worst of the history plays It has an interesting theme underlying all the conflicts what are the legitimate sources of power and authority but throughout the various struggles between first born illegitimate and second born legitimate sons, between an established king and his deceased older brother s minor heir, between the monarchy and the universal church the connections are not artfully made nor are the distinctions carefully drawn As a consequence, the play often seems little than a series of episodes Further, King John contains scenes that are poorly written Countess Constance makes herself tedious by complaining in one long rhetorical indulgence after another, and her son Prince Arthur pleads with his jailer Hubert not to put out his eyes with such inappropriately clever conceits that the entire scene obviously meant to be touching and terrifying is unintentionally funny instead ARTHUR Will you put out mine eyes These eyes that never did nor never shallSo much as frown on you.HUBERT I have sworn to do it And with hot irons must I burn them out.ARTHUR Ah, none but in this iron age would do it The iron of itself, though heat red hot,Approaching near these eyes, would drink my tearsAnd quench his fiery indignationEven in the matter of mine innocence Nay, after that, consume away in rustBut for containing fire to harm mine eye.Are you stubborn hard than hammer d iron An if an angel should have come to meAnd told me Hubert should put out mine eyes,I would not have believed him . The only fine thing about this drama is The Bastard Richard Faulconbridge illegitimate son of Coer De Lion a dynamic, totally individualized character who speaks in his own unique voice and who seems to have wandered into King John from a later, better play.

  3. Bradley Bradley says:

    I decided to work through the least memorable or least beloved plays while I m working through the beloved histories, and frankly, I don t think this one was bad at all.Sure, there s no Magna Carta, even though it would have been signed one year before the King s death, but as it has been said many times before, no one in Shakespeare s time really gave a hoot about the document.So why did this flop of a play even get written For it was a flop at its inception and no one really wants to see it on stage, now Are there any redeeming virtues Hell yeah Philip the Bastard Many soliloquies, the last line in the play, and my god what a mouth he has He has the righteous Plantagenet fire, the hot breast, the military and manly and steadfast nobility that everyone loves and honors and yet, despite that, he s a Bastard Let me back up Most bastards in any of the Shakespearian plays are real bastards This is the only one that is truly noble, through and through Wow What a departure Plus, he was pretty show stealing every time he popped his head up on the page, with great quips, true heart, and utter loyalty to the king.Plus we get to see a pretty spry old woman Eleanor of Aquitaine But that s just for us history buffs She really doesn t do much except support son the King s decisions and help raise the fortune of Philip the Bastard Which is delightful enough.The rest of the play, though, does appear to have the right kind of propagandist flavor, turning King John into a Protestant by default because he chooses to snub the Cardinal who then proceeds to excommunicate him, but in my eye, that s just the overt window dressing.There s absolutely nothing wrong with the story in the play, either There s wars, reconciliations, humorous dealings at Anjou, bitter sorrow over Arthur, and war, ending with the declaration that there will never be another successful invasion of England.Pretty rousing I was entertained So why the hate shrug maybe people are just idiots Great characters, good story I guess this is just one of those cases that because Shakespeare wrote it, it must be brilliant instead of just fine, and therefore we must, obviously, rate it low.

  4. Darwin8u Darwin8u says:

    Life is as tedious as a twice told taleVexing the dull ear of a drowsy man William Shakespeare, King John, Act III.4All I want is the bastard I want Stoppard to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead King John The Universe revolves, uncorked around the Bastard not the King I m not sure who I want to play the Bastard, but he needs to be Laurence Olivier, Richard Burton, and Edmund Kean all unwrapped, warped, and twisted into one He needs to be unhinged, demonic, and perfect a ballet dancer spitting bullets and drenched in virtue s fire The Bastard Philip demands it Every play Shakespeare writes gives me a character I want to carry in my pocket The Bastard proves I own no pockets large enough for Shakespeare s coin Enough I need to cool down Think rationally Gather my wits The play itself was soft 3 stars, small planets, at most, but I round my review up, as I round my day, week, and May up because I discovered the Bastard Philip today and Lady Constance wasn t too shabby either.How can you not love THIS, a soliloquy on self interest Mad world mad kings mad composition John, to stop Arthur s title in the whole, Hath willingly departed with a part, And France, whose armour conscience buckled on, Whom zeal and charity brought to the fieldAs God s own soldier, rounded in the ear With that same purpose changer, that sly devil, That broker, that still breaks the pate of faith, That daily break vow, he that wins of all, Of kings, of beggars, old men, young men, maids,Who, having no external thing to lose But the word maid, cheats the poor maid of that, That smooth faced gentleman, tickling Commodity, Commodity, the bias of the world, The world, who of itself is peised well,Made to run even upon even ground, Till this advantage, this vile drawing bias, This sway of motion, this Commodity, Makes it take head from all indifferency, From all direction, purpose, course, intent And this same bias, this Commodity, This bawd, this broker, this all changing word, Clapp d on the outward eye of fickle France, Hath drawn him from his own determined aid, From a resolved and honourable war,To a most base and vile concluded peace And why rail I on this Commodity But for because he hath not woo d me yet Not that I have the power to clutch my hand, When his fair angels would salute my palm But for my hand, as unattempted yet, Like a poor beggar, raileth on the rich Well, whiles I am a beggar, I will rail And say there is no sin but to be rich And being rich, my virtue then shall beTo say there is no vice but beggary Since kings break faith upon commodity, Gain, be my lord, for I will worship thee.

  5. Jason Koivu Jason Koivu says:

    No big twists or earth shattering surprises, but there was a fairly moving scene and some good political maneuvering described Easy to follow for the most part and that always improves my chances of enjoying one of Shakespeare s playsor whatever the heck I m reading, I suppose.

  6. David Sarkies David Sarkies says:

    What No Magna Carta 29 July 2015 Okay, I said this many times before but this time one of the commentators at the end of the book pointed out that reading some plays doesn t bring the play out the same way that watching it performed does, but the reason Sylvia Barnett made this comment is because this is one of those plays that is very rarely performed namely because people simply are not that interested in it In fact when she was looking at the various productions of this play she noted that when it was produced in the 60s by the Royal Shakespeare company it was an absolute failure It s not that you can t put on a good production of this play, it s just that when you do people, especially people who know about Shakespeare, look at it and say yeah, King John, I think I have to feed my cat that night Look, it s not a bad play, it s just that people really don t like it, which is a shame because Shakespeare really does know how to write a good political intrigue The problem is that there are actually two plays on the same subject, this play and another one written by an anonymous author called a href Troublesome Reign of King John I knew I could find the text on the internet It is interesting that there is some debate about which came first, and also who copied who, or whether they drew their inspiration from a third, lost, source though I would probably fall into the category of rejecting the existence of this ur text King John is a play about the question of succession Despite the fact that John was nominated heir by his father Richard the Lion Heart, as the play unfolds it becomes clear that there are some other claimants to the throne, one prince Arthur, and some guy named Phillip the Bastard The play is basically about the struggle between John and Arthur over who should have the throne, even though John spends a lot of time running around France beating up the French and also seeking to behead the King of Austria who was responsible for the death of his father This is actually one of those plays that happens to have one really cool character Phillip the Bastard or simply The Bastard The thing about Phillip is that he is quite a noble character and sticks by King John right until the end At the beginning he is having a tussle with his brother as to who should inherit their deceased father s estate, that is until it is revealed that his mother had a liaison with the king as you do and that he isn t actually a legitimate heir As such he has a choice maintain the claim to his father s estate or accept that he is a bastard He takes the second option and is made a knight of the realm The thing with Bastards in Shakespeare is that they are generally not painted in a particularly pleasant light take Edmund from King Lear for example he is one really nasty piece of work However Phillip is one of the most noblest characters in the play, and not only that he sticks to John s side despite all of the other nobles deserting him In fact he has the very last line in the play, a position which in Elizabethan drama is normally reserved for the highest ranking character left alive Mind you, the real Phillip Phillip of Cognac I wonder if he drank a bit of the stuff is one of those really obscure historical figures that would have disappeared into the mists of antiquity if Shakespeare hadn t immortalised him Still, considering the fact that he is in King John may still end up consigning him to obscurity The one thing that really stands out in this play is that the one reason that King John is still remembered today, the signing of the Magna Carta, is completely absent In fact it is due to the dispute with prince Arthur that all of the lords desert John, not because he is a tyrannical prick that was blowing England s wealth on his wars in France However I do want to speculate a bit as to why Shakespeare ended up neglecting this rather historical event and if he were to have included it it would have been somewhere near the end because King John died the year after it was signed Okay, maybe it had to do with the whole Magna Carta thing disrupting the flow of the play and not having anything to do with the themes that Shakespeare was trying to explore, which is probably likely than not and the I think about it the I suspect that that is the case However I have another theory, and that is that the people of Elizabethan England never considered the Magna Carta that big a deal Remember King John pretty much tore the agreement up as soon as he had the chance and it never really had a huge affect until much later Anyway, it wasn t the beginning of the Parliamentary system William the Conqueror had a group of advisors when he first invaded England The thing with Parliament is that it didn t actually appear in its present form until the Tudors were on the throne, and even then most of them tended to be lackies of the king However the reason Parliament existed is because the king didn t raise taxes directly from the people, he would raise them from the feudal lords, who would in turn suck the peasantry dry In fact the Magna Carta did didly squat for the average punter, and it was not until the era of the Stuarts that it started fighting with the king for political power It is only these days that we look back at the Magna Carta and go gee, what a wonderful document Back in Shakespeare s day I suspect that the average theatre goer would have said Magna Carta As if that has anything to do with me it s simply a nobles thing.

  7. Bram Bram says:

    It s been a while high school since I ve read Shakespeare, and the pleasures of his language and verse flow were almost completely lost on me at that time Like many youths who are required to read the Bard at an obscenely young age Julius Caesar and Romeo and Juliet were assigned in middle school for goodness sake , I viewed his verse and language as impediments to the story, which was sometimes pretty interesting to a distracted, pimply youth But fast forward a few years and here I am nearly worshiping at the aesthetics alter with Harold Bloom So in short, yes, I enjoyed reading this even if the story and themes weren t as compelling or valuable as those in some of Shakespeare s famous plays The flow, the language, the language, the flow delicious It seems that this play is one of the least read in the Bard s oeuvre, so here s a brief overview of the story King John claims the throne of England after the death of his brother Richard The Lionheart of Crusade fame , whose will stated that John should be the next king The only problem is that the laws of succession dictate that John s older brother Geoffrey is next in line and since he s already dead, his son Arthur is the rightful king King Philip of France, looking to stir up trouble and increase his power in the region, is backing Arthur s bid side note Arthur doesn t really give a shit, but his mom s got a hankering for that queen mother spot Some battle ensues The Bastard see below is pumped for continuing the war with France, but someone else suggests that John s niece marry Philip s son to secure John s claim to the throne while France gets some extra land Still following The pope s emissary then stirs up trouble by briefly excommunicating John and forcing France to abandon the newly improved English French relationship John fixes things with the Vatican but not before the relationship with France has degenerated and he s become embroiled in a small controversy at home involving the killing of Arthur who, as you ll remember, has a claim on the English throne as well I won t spoil the ending, but nothing terribly exciting happens anyway I m not sure how historically accurate this whole story is, but I was surprised that in a play about King John the Magna Carta never managed to come up That was kind of a big deal, wasn t it So but none of the characters are terribly interesting except one The Bastard He finds out at the beginning of the play that he is Richard the Lionheart s illegitimate son, which birth status he loves So he gives up all of his entitled land to accept this royal if illegitimate standing He s basically a big, brash guy who loves battle, hates cowardice, and constantly berates and belittles people of legit birth and higher rank In other words, in an otherwise dry history play, the Bastard really steals the show His comic timing is excellent his frequent interruptions, particularly of the Duke of Austria, are relentless, abusive, and hilarious Acts II and III offer up some laugh out loud moments, and there are many clever double entendres scattered throughout In the end, it s all about the plot pushing Bastard he singlehandedly justifies giving this one a shot.

  8. Jim Jim says:

    This is not the same King John you know from history For one thing, there is no Runnymede and no Magna Carta in this play Secondly, Richard the Lion Hearted has already died, so there is no Robin Hood, Sheriff of Nottingham, or Guy of Gisbourne No, The Life and Death of King John is about retaining one s power as king when confronted with the demands of the papacy and of other surrounding monarchs.In the process of trying to hold on to his power, John tries to have his nephew Arthur killed but the noble delegated to do the job doesn t have the heart for it Shortly thereafter, Arthur accidentally falls to his death from the castle walls In the end, the lingering suspicion is that John had him killed.And shortly after that, John dies off stage having been poisoned by a monk and act for which we have not been prepared by William Shakespeare In the end, John is a powerful man who must struggle with his conscience, and who doesn t quite succeed.

  9. Roy Lotz Roy Lotz says:

    And oftentimes excusing of a faultDoth make the fault the worse by the excuse King John is normally regarded as one of Shakespeare s earliest and weakest history plays The plot mainly concerns the king s conflict with France over his legitimacy, since John inherited the throne from his brother, Richard the Lionheart, even though the late king s son, Arthur, was alive and well This leads to a rather silly confrontation between the two powers, in which they try to get the town of Angiers to recognize one of them as the true king, which the townsfolk resolutely refuse to do The warring factions finally decide to just destroy Angiers presumably for the satisfaction until they receive the timely recommendation to marry the prince of France to the princess of England, thus uniting their houses This is done, and succeeds in suppressing the conflict for about five minutes, until a Cardinal stirs up the war again which leads to some notable anti Catholic blasts from Shakespeare.Compared to Shakespeare s mature works, the characters in this play are mostly stiff and lifeless, with far less individualizing marks than we expect from the master of characterization As Harold Bloom says, at this point Shakespeare was very much under the influence of Christophe Marlowe, and follows that playwright in his inflated, bombastic speeches I admit that the swollen rhetoric often had me laughing, especially during the first confrontation between the English and French parties The pathetic and spiteful King John is somewhat interesting, if not lovable, than the rest, but the real star is Philip Faulconbridge later Richard Plantaganet , the bastard son of Richard the Lionheart, and the only immediately recognizable Shakespearean character As with Launce in Two Gentlemen of Verona, it is a relief and a delight whenever Philip appears onstage.As far as notable quotes go, this play is the source of our phrase gild the lily, though it misquotes the play, which goes To gild refined gold, to paint the lily Also notable is this description of grief for a lost child, which many surmise expressed Shakespeare s grief for his own deceased son, Hamnet, though this is pure speculation Grief fills the room up of my absent childLies in his bed, walks up and down with me,Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words, Remembers me of his gracious parts,Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form

  10. João Fernandes João Fernandes says:

    I went to see this play at the Shakespeare Globe a few months ago, and I ve been meaning to read it ever since.It was the first time I saw a performance of a Shakespearian play and it was incredible, I mean everyone left with a pleasantly bewildered look on their face Of course, this play doesn t even come close to the double tetralogy of the War of the Roses It is no Richard II or Henry V, but it is still an intelligent play The Life and Death of King John is a play that touches on the issue of legitimacy From the hilarious faux Faulcounbridge, who chooses to be a royal bastard over a trueborn son of a knight, to the issue of the succession following Richard Coeur de Lion s death.It is important to note that neither John nor his nephew Arthur have a stronger claim than the other By the bylaws of the late medieval era Arthur, as the son of the eldest brother, succeeds over his father s younger brother But in the 12th century succession wasn t as straightforward, and John is not necessarily an usurper, only becoming an anti hero due to the treatment and death of Arthur which didn t even occur directly by his order.Surprisingly, evil King John is not evil at all Robin Hood does a great job dissing the guy, but he s actually a morally grey character in this play, mostly because he is shown as a Protestant hero How so, you ask Even though this is a play about kingship in the 1200 1300s, John is shown almost as a Machiavellian prince, who orders the death of an infant to secure his crown, but also avoids bloodshed Mostly, he is the prototype for the king is the divine intermediary of God principle of Anglicanism He rejects the Pope s power, and directly attacks the principle behind Indulgences He was such a Protestant king wet dream I swear I thought Shakespeare would either invite Elizabeth I to play him or have a scene with him nailing his thesis on the door of All Saints Church in Wittenberg.

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