King John

King John
Oxford University Press
Shakespeare, William
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Preface, Introduction, The Life and Death of King John


`King John`, a play that offers at least three fine acting roles and was once popular in the theatre, has been neglected in recent years. Its treatment of the death of Arthur, claimant to the throne, and the wit of the Bastard, son of Richard Coeur de Lion, make it particularly worthy of reconsideration. The wide-ranging introduction makes original claims for the play`s relevance to Elizabethan political issues and for its aesthetic importance in Shakespeare`s early career as a dramatist. This edition also offers a comprehensive stage history, a thorough bibliographical study of the Folio (1625) text, and a reconsideration of its disputed relationship with the anonymous Troublesome Reign of King John (1591). A.R. Braunmuller provides new informationconcerning King John`s early stage history, consideration of legal concepts and practices in the play, and a critical study of its presentation of women and of families.

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