"King John" Paperback
Part of the Arden Shakespeare: Second Series series
The Arden Shakespeare is the established edition of Shakespeare's work.
Justly celebrated for its authoritative scholarship and invaluable commentary, Arden guides you a richer understanding and appreciation of Shakespeare's plays.This edition of King John provides, a clear and authoritative text, detailed notes and commentary on the same page as the text, a full introduction discussing the critical and historical background to the play and appendices presenting sources and relevant extracts.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 256 pages, black & white illustrations
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
- Publication Date: 12/10/1967
- Category: Shakespeare plays
- ISBN: 9781903436097
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by Prop2gether
This play has absolutely the best line in Shakespeare: Let that be thy message and go rot!
Review by anthonywillard
I don' t know why Shakespeare's <i>King John</i> is so little known. It has an involving story line and some quirky characters that I imagine could be played very effectively, though I have never had the opportunity to see it on stage. King John is as bad as he is legendarily supposed to be, though not without redeeming qualities. The famous Eleanor of Aquitaine of <i>Lion in Winter</i> fame plays a substantial part. There is, however, no comic character to compare with Falstaff of the Henry IV plays, though Richard the Bastard, the supposed illegitimate son of King Richard the Lion Heart, has a fair number of snarky lines, and is, in his role of outside observer, a satiric commentator on the political insincerities of the other characters, until his assumption of a redemptive role in the final act.<br><br> I had to brush up on the history of the real King John after reading the play. It turns out that King John had a very convoluted and eventful life filled with sound and fury, and Shakespeare selected episodes from it to weave into a tragedy without much regard to the actual historical sequence of events. Yet every episode dramatizes something that is part of the historical record.<br>I recommend <i>King John</i> if you have already read the major Shakespeare plays. Otherwise go read them first, i.e. <i>Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, The Tempest, Antony and Cleopatra, The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Henry IV Parts I and II, Henry V, Othello,</i> etc. <i>King John</i> is not at the same level of excellence, but is still worth a read.