Tropedia

  • Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.

READ MORE

Tropedia
Advertisement
Tropedia
157,225
pages
Farm-Fresh balance.pngYMMVTransmit blue.pngRadarWikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotes • (Emoticon happy.pngFunnyHeart.pngHeartwarmingSilk award star gold 3.pngAwesome) • Refridgerator.pngFridgeGroup.pngCharactersScript edit.pngFanfic RecsSkull0.pngNightmare FuelRsz 1rsz 2rsz 1shout-out icon.pngShout OutMagnifier.pngPlotGota icono.pngTear JerkerBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersHelp.pngTriviaWMGFilmRoll-small.pngRecapRainbow.pngHo YayPhoto link.pngImage LinksNyan-Cat-Original.pngMemesHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconicLibrary science symbol .svg SourceSetting

"Herbert Beerbohm Tree as Shakespear's King John" (1900). Oil painting by Charles A. Buchel

The life and death of King Iohn, or, in short, King John, is a play by William Shakespeare, thought to have been created somewhere between 1596 and 1598. It follows the life of John Plantagenet in his war against his rival, Phillip II of France, to his eventual death at the hands of a treacherous monk.

Tropes used in King John include:


  • Anachronism Stew: Several instances in the play, notably when King John makes a reference to England's cannons, which were not actually fielded until well over a hundred years after John's death.
  • Anti-Hero: John; see the anti-hero trope page for more info.
  • Children Are Innocent: Arthur Plantagenet, stated to be about 8 years old. (In reality, he would have been about 16.)
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Subverted when Arthur convinces Hubert not to go through with torture or execution.
  • Corrupt Church: Cardinal Pandulph, about as cynical and slimy a politician as is possible to find even in Shakespeare.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Queen Elinor, until this point an important supporting character, is sent off to take charge of assets in France, and it is mentioned later that she died.
  • Eye Scream: The plan to execute Arthur Plantagenet is, for reasons never fully established in the play, paired with a plan to (spoiler-text for the faint-hearted) poke his eyes out with hot irons. Yeah.
  • Heroic Bastard: Phillip the Bastard, called Faulconbridge, a prime example of this trope.
  • Mama Bear: Two, actually: Queen Elinor, mother to King John, and Constance, mother to Arthur Plantagenet.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You: Subverted, In his somewhat suicidal attempt to escape from the castle, Arthur is killed when he falls from the wall.
  • Off with His Head: Austria is beheaded by The Bastard for his part in killing King Richard I, The Bastard's father.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Arthur Plantagenet, a young boy of eight in the play; actually 16 during the historical events.
  • Twice-Told Tale: Trope Namer:
Cquote1.svg

 Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale

Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man.

In another way, The Life and Death of King John tracks very closely to a play that is believed by most to have been published slightly earlier: The Troublesome Reign of King John. Shakespeare appears to have set out to write a much-improved version of that play, in which he succeeded by making John an Anti-Hero, removing the comfortable moral framework of the precursor, and removing a romantic subplot.

Cquote2.svg
Advertisement