King John is a dramatic historical play which presents a fictionalized version of King John Lackland's reign in England. The play covers John's tension with the French, his involvement in vicious English infighting, and his role in the intense and complicated succession struggle that destabilized his reign and caused vicious gossip to erode his reputation among his lords. Eventually John is poisoned by a disgusted and rebellious monk and passes away as his vassals swear allegiance to his son, Henry.
The Life and Death of King John (1598) is a play by William Shakespeare dramatizing the life of King John of England.
And she a fair divided excellence,
Whose fulness of perfection lies in him.
Thou ever strong upon the stronger side!
Thou Fortune’s champion, that dost never fight
But when her humorous ladyship is by
To teach thee safety!
Shall tithe or toll in our dominions.
Thy tongue against thy tongue.
Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words,
Remembers me of all his gracious parts,
Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form.
To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
To throw a perfume on the violet,
To smooth the ice, or add another hue
Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light
To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish,
Is wasteful, and ridiculous excess.
With open mouth swallowing a tailor’s news.
Send fair-play orders and make compromise,
Insinuation, parley and base truce
To arms invasive? shall a beardless boy,
A cocker'd silken wanton, brave our fields,
And flesh his spirit in a warlike soil,
Mocking the air with colours idly spread.
Who chants a doleful hymn to his own death;
And, from the organ-pipe of frailty, sings
His soul and body to their lasting rest.
But when it first did help to wound itself.
Now these her princes are come home again,
Come the three corners of the world in arms,
And we shall shock them. Nought shall make us rue,
If England to itself do rest but true.