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King John

King John is one of Shakespeare's history plays. The play details the history of Richard the Lionhearted's younger brother, King John I of England.

The play opens with a demand from the French King that King John abdicate in favor of his elder brother, Geffery's son, Arthur. The five acts follow a dizzying change of alliances, Papal excommunication and subsequent acceptance, and ends finally with King John's death at the hands of a monk.

Throughout the play, a character known as "The Bastard" delivers a commentary on nobility, "commodity" and English sovereignty.


  • Philip, King of France (Philip II of France)
  • Louis, the Dauphin (future Louis VIII of France)
  • Lymoges, Duke of Austria
  • Cardinal Pandolph, the Pope's Legate
  • Melune, a French Lord
  • Chatillion, ambassador from France to King John

  • Queen Elinor, widow of Henry II, mother to King John (Eleanor of Aquitaine)
  • Constance, widow to Geffrey (John's elder brother), mother to Arthur
  • Blanch of Spain, daughter to the King of Castile, niece to King John
  • Lady Faulconbridge, widow of Sir Robert Faulconbridge

  • Lords, heralds, etc.

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