King John

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Aug 23, 2011 - Drama - 352 pages
Like most of Shakespeare’s history plays, King John presents a struggle for the English crown. The struggle this time, however, is strikingly cold-blooded and brutal.

John, the younger brother of the late Richard I, is the king, and a savage one. His opponent is a boy, his nephew Arthur, supported by the King of France and the Duke of Austria. After Arthur falls into John’s hands, John plots to torture him. Arthur’s capture gives Louis, the Dauphin of France, the opportunity to lay claim to John’s crown. John’s nobles support Louis, but he schemes to betray them.

The play finds its hero in another figure: the Bastard, Sir Richard Plantagenet, an illegitimate son of Richard I. Although he has an appetite for war, he also has a strong conscience and speaks with trenchant irony.

The authoritative edition of King John from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, includes:

-The exact text of the printed book for easy cross-reference
-Hundreds of hypertext links for instant navigation
-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 the play’s 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
-Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s vast holdings of rare books
-An annotated guide to further reading

Essay by Deborah T. Curren-Aquino

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, 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 Folger.edu.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - john257hopper - www.librarything.com

Having finished the last of a trilogy of novels about Eleanor of Aquitaine last night, I was prompted to read this, one of Shakespeare's less well known and now rarely performed plays. It prevents a ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - amerynth - LibraryThing

Certainly not among Shakespeare's greatest plays, "King John" isn't among his worst either. I found it pretty middle of the road overall -- a decent plot and good pacing, but lacking in those ... Read full review

Contents

Editors Preface
ix
King John
xiii
King John
xiv
Shakespeares Life
xxvi
Shakespeares Theater
xxxvi
The Publication of Shakespeares Plays
xlvi
An Introduction to This Text
l
Text of the Play with Commentary
1
ACT 4 Scene 2
135
ACT 4 Scene 3
155
ACT 5 Scene 1
171
ACT 5 Scene 2
177
ACT 5 Scene 3
189
ACT 5 Scene 5
195
ACT 5 Scene 6
197
ACT 5 Scene 7
201

ACT 1 Scene 1
7
ACT 2 Scene 1
31
ACT 3 Scene 1
77
ACT 3 Scene 2
101
ACT 3 Scene 3
103
ACT 3 Scene 4
109
ACT 4 Scene 1
125
Longer Notes
211
Textual Notes
223
Historical Background
231
A Modern Perspective
237
Further Reading
273
Key to Famous Lines and Phrases
295
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

William Shakespeare was born in April 1564 in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, on England’s Avon River. When he was eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway. The couple had three children—an older daughter Susanna and twins, Judith and Hamnet. Hamnet, Shakespeare’s only son, died in childhood. The bulk of Shakespeare’s working life was spent in the theater world of London, where he established himself professionally by the early 1590s. He enjoyed success not only as a playwright and poet, but also as an actor and shareholder in an acting company. Although some think that sometime between 1610 and 1613 Shakespeare retired from the theater and returned home to Stratford, where he died in 1616, others believe that he may have continued to work in London until close to his death.

Barbara A. Mowat is Director of Research emerita at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Consulting Editor of Shakespeare Quarterly, and author of The Dramaturgy of Shakespeare’s Romances and of essays on Shakespeare’s plays and their editing.

Paul Werstine is Professor of English at the Graduate School and at King’s University College at Western University. He is a general editor of the New Variorum Shakespeare and author of Early Modern Playhouse Manuscripts and the Editing of Shakespeare and of many papers and articles on the printing and editing of Shakespeare’s plays.

Bibliographic information