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The life and death of King John; von William…
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The life and death of King John; (2010. Auflage)

von William Shakespeare, Ivor Bertram John

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
1,1702612,872 (3.41)69
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.… (mehr)
Mitglied:al.cover
Titel:The life and death of King John;
Autoren:William Shakespeare
Weitere Autoren:Ivor Bertram John
Info:Nabu Press (2010), Paperback, 194 pages
Sammlungen:new covers
Bewertung:
Tags:Keine

Werk-Details

Leben und Tod des Königs Johann (Theatralische Werke in 21 Einzelbänden, Bd.8) von William Shakespeare

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It's been so great to read the Shakespeares I know next to nothing about, and King John is no exception. New characters to add to my favorites list: Elinor (for the persona), the Bastard (for the interiority), Citizen 1 (for the comedy).

Really want to read more about what was going on with the Catholicism stuff here.

Overall, a play of long speeches and strange choices. Structured like Shakespeare wrote the scenes that interested him most first and then decided he didn't need the other ones after all. Arthur is a paragon of (presumably) unintentional comedy. Still immense fun. ( )
  misslevel | Sep 22, 2021 |
The biggest surprise from my Shakespeare reading so far. At times a parody of royal politics, a reminder of the arbitrary nature of power and how little is ever under the control of the kings, whoever they may be. This seems like more of a forerunner of Richard II than the first tetralogy does. ( )
  poirotketchup | Mar 18, 2021 |
This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: King John
Author: William Shakespeare
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Play
Pages: 265
Words: 76K

Synopsis:


From Wikipedia

King John receives an ambassador from France who demands with a threat of war that he renounce his throne in favour of his nephew, Arthur, whom the French King Philip believes to be the rightful heir to the throne.

John adjudicates an inheritance dispute between Robert Faulconbridge and his older brother Philip the Bastard, during which it becomes apparent that Philip is the illegitimate son of King Richard I. Queen Eleanor, mother to both Richard and John, recognises the family resemblance and suggests that he renounce his claim to the Faulconbridge land in exchange for a knighthood. John knights Philip the Bastard under the name Richard.

In France, King Philip and his forces besiege the English-ruled town of Angers, threatening attack unless its citizens support Arthur. Philip is supported by Austria, who is believed to have killed King Richard. The English contingent arrives; and then Eleanor trades insults with Constance, Arthur's mother. Kings Philip and John stake their claims in front of Angers' citizens, but to no avail: their representative says that they will support the rightful king, whoever that turns out to be.

The French and English armies clash, but no clear victor emerges. Each army dispatches a herald claiming victory, but Angers' citizens continue to refuse to recognize either claimant because neither army has proven victorious.

The Bastard proposes that England and France unite to punish the rebellious citizens of Angers, at which point the citizens propose an alternative: Philip's son, Louis the Dauphin, should marry John's niece Blanche (a scheme that gives John a stronger claim to the throne) while Louis gains territory for France. Though a furious Constance accuses Philip of abandoning Arthur, Louis and Blanche are married.

Cardinal Pandolf arrives from Rome bearing a formal accusation that John has disobeyed the Pope and appointed an archbishop contrary to his desires. John refuses to recant, whereupon he is excommunicated. Pandolf pledges his support for Louis, though Philip is hesitant, having just established family ties with John. Pandolf brings him round by pointing out that his links to the church are older and firmer.

War breaks out; Austria is beheaded by the Bastard in revenge for his father's death; and both Angers and Arthur are captured by the English. Eleanor is left in charge of English possessions in France, while the Bastard is sent to collect funds from English monasteries. John orders Hubert to kill Arthur. Pandolf suggests to Louis that he now has as strong a claim to the English throne as Arthur (and indeed John), and Louis agrees to invade England.

Hubert finds himself unable to kill Arthur. John's nobles urge Arthur's release. John agrees, but is wrong-footed[clarification needed] by Hubert's announcement that Arthur is dead. The nobles, believing he was murdered, defect to Louis' side. Equally upsetting, and more heartbreaking to John, is the news of his mother's death, along with that of Lady Constance. The Bastard reports that the monasteries are unhappy about John's attempt to seize their gold. Hubert has a furious argument with John, during which he reveals that Arthur is still alive. John, delighted, sends him to report the news to the nobles.

Arthur dies jumping from a castle wall. (It is open to interpretation whether he deliberately kills himself or just makes a risky escape attempt.) The nobles believe he was murdered by John, and refuse to believe Hubert's entreaties. John attempts to make a deal with Pandolf, swearing allegiance to the Pope in exchange for Pandolf's negotiating with the French on his behalf. John orders the Bastard, one of his few remaining loyal subjects, to lead the English army against France.

While John's former noblemen swear allegiance to Louis, Pandolf explains John's scheme, but Louis refuses to be taken in by it. The Bastard arrives with the English army and threatens Louis, but to no avail. War breaks out with substantial losses on each side, including Louis' reinforcements, who are drowned during the sea crossing. Many English nobles return to John's side after a dying French nobleman, Melun, warns them that Louis plans to kill them after his victory.

John is poisoned by a disgruntled monk. His nobles gather around him as he dies. The Bastard plans the final assault on Louis' forces, until he is told that Pandolf has arrived with a peace treaty. The English nobles swear allegiance to John's son Prince Henry, and the Bastard reflects that this episode has taught that internal bickering could be as perilous to England's fortunes as foreign invasion.

My Thoughts:

FINALLY! A Shakespeare play that I fully enjoyed and didn't feel like pee'ing on after I was done reading it. I don't know if it was the actual play, the fact that we've moved into “recent” history (as opposed to ancient history of Greece, Rome, etc), or what, but I had zero quibbles while reading this.

Lots of drama and people being jerks and lying and backstabbing, but I still understood the context. I guess that was what was missing for a lot of the other plays I read? I couldn't understand why the characters would do what they did, but here I could completely understand things, even if I thought it was stupid or wrong.

My only hesitation now is that if I liked this so much, perhaps I'm setting the bar too high for the rest of the Histories? Of course, with works like Henry V coming down the pipeline, that shouldn't be a concern of mine. But I'm a worrier, so I'm going to worry about something that doesn't matter one whit.

★★★★☆ ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Nov 22, 2020 |
H1.31-4
  David.llib.cat | Oct 15, 2020 |
I decided to work through the least memorable or least beloved plays while I'm working through the more 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 more 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. :) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
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» Andere Autoren hinzufügen (129 möglich)

AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
William ShakespeareHauptautoralle Ausgabenberechnet
Braunmuller, Albert RichardHerausgeberCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Farjeon, HerbertHerausgeberCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Furness, Horace Howard, JrHerausgeberCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Gibson, RexHerausgeberCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Harrison, G. B.HerausgeberCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Honigmann, E. A. J.HerausgeberCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Hudson, Henry N.HerausgeberCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Kittredge, George LymanHerausgeberCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Lander, Jesse M.HerausgeberCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
McEachern, ClaireHerausgeberCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
McEachern, Claire ElizabethHerausgeberCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Morgan, AppletonHerausgeberCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Mowat, Barbara A.HerausgeberCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Orgel, StephenHerausgeberCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Ribner, IrbingHerausgeberCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Rolfe, William J.HerausgeberCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Tobin, J. J. M.HerausgeberCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Williams, Stanley T.HerausgeberCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Williams, Stanley T.HerausgeberCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Wilson, John DoverHerausgeberCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Wilson, RichardHerausgeberCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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Now, say, Chatillon, what would France with us?
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Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale

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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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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.

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