King John the play by William Shakespeare
Text - script of King John play by William Shakespeare
Cast and characters in King John by William Shakespeare
Index of plays by William Shakespeare
Introduction - The play and the image displayed in the picture
This section is dedicated to King John, the play by William Shakespeare. The picture is 18th century and image displayed represents the essence of the play which, we hope, will bring to life a famous scene or character from the play. The information provided in this section of william-shakespeare.info includes famous quotes / quotations, summary of the plot or story, facts about the play, a list of the cast and characters and access to the full text - script of King John play by William Shakespeare
Summary of the plot or story
Nearly all of the conflicts in the play result from unresolved disputes involving family members. The consequences of these disputes often result in murder. John is the weak son of King Henry II and brother of the late King Richard the Lion Heart. Queen Elinor is the domineering mother of John and Prince Henry is his son. Arthur, who is just a child, is the son of John's deceased brother, Richard the Lion Heart. Arthur's mother, Constance enters into a power struggle, aligning herself to the French King in order to claim the throne for her son. The countries go to war and there is also religious conflicts. Arthur is believed to be dead and Constance kills herself. Queen Elinor also dies. Arthur, in an attempt to escape imprisonment, falls onto rocks and dies. King John is poisoned. Cardinal Pandulph, the Pope's legate, forges a peace agreement between England and France, and John's son Henry becomes king.
Information provided about the play
William Shakespeare never published any of his plays and therefore none of the original manuscripts have survived. Eighteen unauthorised versions of his plays were, however, published during his lifetime in quarto editions by unscrupulous publishers (there were no copyright laws protecting Shakespeare and his works during the Elizabethan era). A collection of his works did not appear until 1623 (a full seven years after Shakespeare's death on April 23, 1616) when two of his fellow actors, John Hemminges and Henry Condell, posthumously recorded his work and published 36 of Williamís plays in the First Folio. Some dates are therefore approximate other dates are substantiated by historical events, records of performances and the dates plays appeared in print.
Date first performed
It is believed that the play was first performed between 1596 and 1597. In the Elizabethan era
there was a huge demand for new entertainment and King John would have been produced immediately following the completion of the play.
Date first printed
It is believed that the drama was first printed in 1623 as part of the First Folio. As William Shakespeare clearly did not ant his work published details of the play would have therefore been noted, and often pirated without his consent, following a performance.
The settings for King John
The settings are England and France
Theme of King John
The play is categorised as a History
Number of words in King John
The number of words in the script, according to the Complete Public Domain Text is 21,842.
Most important characters
The most important characters are:
King John, Queen Elinor and Constance
Famous Quotes / Quotations
Details of the following quote is complete with information regarding the Act and the Scene, allowing a quick reference to the section of the play that this quotation can be found in. Please click here for the full text of the script of the play.
"With taper-light To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish. (Act IV, Scene II)
History of King John
King John was based on the history of England and France between 1199 and 1216.
We recommend the following link to access facts, information, a biography and timeline of
William Shakespeare's Main Source
The Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland (Holinshed's Chronicles), by Raphael Holinshed.
Inspiration from the drama
In 1899, Sir Herbert Beerbohm-Tree, produced the first movie based on the work and John.
The Cast and Characters
Click the link at the top of the page to access a list of all the cast and characters.