List iconKing John:
Act 3, scene 3
List icon

King John
Act 3, scene 3



Characters in the Play

Entire Play

The events in King John take place in the thirteenth century, well before Shakespeare’s other English history plays. After the death of…

Act 1, scene 1

John, King of England, is told by a messenger from the King of France that the territories held by John…

Act 2, scene 1

King Philip of France and the Duke of Austria, on behalf of Arthur, begin to lay siege to the city…

Act 3, scene 1

The league between John and Philip is attacked first by Constance, who accuses Philip of treacherously betraying Arthur’s cause, and…

Act 3, scene 2

The Bastard, having killed the Duke of Austria, reports that he has rescued Queen Eleanor. Arthur, captured by John, is…

Act 3, scene 3

John prepares to leave for England with his forces. He tells Hubert that Arthur must die. Hubert promises to kill…

Act 3, scene 4

John’s victories and his capture of Arthur lead the French to despair and Constance to wild grief. Pandulph, predicting Arthur’s…

Act 4, scene 1

Hubert prepares to put out Arthur’s eyes with hot irons. Arthur begs him to show mercy. Hubert plans to tell…

Act 4, scene 2

The nobles express their disapproval of John’s second coronation and urge that he set Arthur free. When Hubert brings word…

Act 4, scene 3

Arthur dies as he attempts to leap from the prison wall. The Bastard reaches the nobles, on their way to…

Act 5, scene 1

King John submits his royal power to the Pope in exchange for Pandulph’s intercession against the French forces. The Bastard…

Act 5, scene 2

The rebellious English nobles swear to support the Dauphin in his attack on England. Pandulph tells the Dauphin to take…

Act 5, scene 3

King John, sick with a fever, is instructed by the Bastard to leave the battle. John receives the good news…

Act 5, scene 4

While the English army continues to fight successfully under the Bastard, the rebel English nobles learn from the wounded French…

Act 5, scene 5

The Dauphin rejoices that his forces have almost defeated the English. He then learns that Count Melun has died, that…

Act 5, scene 6

Hubert brings news to the Bastard that King John has been poisoned by a monk, and that, at the urging…

Act 5, scene 7

As King John lies dying, surrounded by his newly loyal nobles and his son, Prince Henry, the Bastard brings him…

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Scene 3
Alarums, excursions, retreat.
Enter King John, Queen Eleanor, Arthur, Bastard,
Hubert, Lords.

KING JOHN, to Queen Eleanor 
 So shall it be. Your Grace shall stay behind
 So strongly guarded. To Arthur. Cousin, look not sad.
 Thy grandam loves thee, and thy uncle will
 As dear be to thee as thy father was.
5 O, this will make my mother die with grief!
KING JOHN, to Bastard 
 Cousin, away for England! Haste before,
 And ere our coining see thou shake the bags
 Of hoarding abbots; imprisoned angels
 Set at liberty. The fat ribs of peace
10 Must by the hungry now be fed upon.
 Use our commission in his utmost force.
 Bell, book, and candle shall not drive me back
 When gold and silver becks me to come on.
 I leave your Highness.—Grandam, I will pray,

King John
ACT 3. SC. 3

15 If ever I remember to be holy,
 For your fair safety. So I kiss your hand.
 Farewell, gentle cousin.
KING JOHN  Coz, farewell.Bastard exits.
 Come hither, little kinsman. Hark, a word.
They walk aside.
20 Come hither, Hubert.He takes Hubert aside.
 O, my gentle Hubert,
 We owe thee much. Within this wall of flesh
 There is a soul counts thee her creditor,
 And with advantage means to pay thy love.
25 And, my good friend, thy voluntary oath
 Lives in this bosom dearly cherishèd.
 Give me thy hand. I had a thing to say,
 But I will fit it with some better tune.
 By heaven, Hubert, I am almost ashamed
30 To say what good respect I have of thee.
 I am much bounden to your Majesty.
 Good friend, thou hast no cause to say so yet,
 But thou shalt have. And, creep time ne’er so slow,
 Yet it shall come for me to do thee good.
35 I had a thing to say—but let it go.
 The sun is in the heaven, and the proud day,
 Attended with the pleasures of the world,
 Is all too wanton and too full of gauds
 To give me audience. If the midnight bell
40 Did with his iron tongue and brazen mouth
 Sound on into the drowsy race of night;
 If this same were a churchyard where we stand,
 And thou possessèd with a thousand wrongs;

King John
ACT 3. SC. 3

 Or if that surly spirit, melancholy,
45 Had baked thy blood and made it heavy, thick,
 Which else runs tickling up and down the veins,
 Making that idiot, laughter, keep men’s eyes
 And strain their cheeks to idle merriment,
 A passion hateful to my purposes;
50 Or if that thou couldst see me without eyes,
 Hear me without thine ears, and make reply
 Without a tongue, using conceit alone,
 Without eyes, ears, and harmful sound of words;
 Then, in despite of brooded watchful day,
55 I would into thy bosom pour my thoughts.
 But, ah, I will not. Yet I love thee well,
 And by my troth I think thou lov’st me well.
 So well that what you bid me undertake,
 Though that my death were adjunct to my act,
60 By heaven, I would do it.
KING JOHN Do not I know thou wouldst?
 Good Hubert, Hubert, Hubert, throw thine eye
 On yon young boy. I’ll tell thee what, my friend,
 He is a very serpent in my way,
65 And wheresoe’er this foot of mine doth tread,
 He lies before me. Dost thou understand me?
 Thou art his keeper.
HUBERT  And I’ll keep him so
 That he shall not offend your Majesty.
70 Death.
HUBERT  My lord?
KING JOHN  A grave.
HUBERT  He shall not live.
75 I could be merry now. Hubert, I love thee.
 Well, I’ll not say what I intend for thee.

King John
ACT 3. SC. 4

 Remember. He turns to Queen Eleanor. Madam, fare
 you well.
 I’ll send those powers o’er to your Majesty.
QUEEN ELEANOR 80My blessing go with thee.
KING JOHN, to Arthur For England, cousin, go.
 Hubert shall be your man, attend on you
 With all true duty.—On toward Calais, ho!
They exit.