List iconKing John:
Act 5, scene 1
List icon

King John
Act 5, scene 1



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 1
Enter King John and Pandulph with the crown, and
their Attendants.

 Thus have I yielded up into your hand
 The circle of my glory.
PANDULPH, handing John the crown  Take again
 From this my hand, as holding of the Pope,
5 Your sovereign greatness and authority.
 Now keep your holy word. Go meet the French,
 And from his Holiness use all your power
 To stop their marches ’fore we are inflamed.
 Our discontented counties do revolt,
10 Our people quarrel with obedience,
 Swearing allegiance and the love of soul
 To stranger blood, to foreign royalty.
 This inundation of mistempered humor
 Rests by you only to be qualified.
15 Then pause not, for the present time’s so sick
 That present med’cine must be ministered,
 Or overthrow incurable ensues.
 It was my breath that blew this tempest up,
 Upon your stubborn usage of the Pope;

King John
ACT 5. SC. 1

20 But since you are a gentle convertite,
 My tongue shall hush again this storm of war
 And make fair weather in your blust’ring land.
 On this Ascension Day, remember well:
 Upon your oath of service to the Pope,
25 Go I to make the French lay down their arms.
He exits, with Attendants.
 Is this Ascension Day? Did not the prophet
 Say that before Ascension Day at noon
 My crown I should give off? Even so I have.
 I did suppose it should be on constraint,
30 But, God be thanked, it is but voluntary.

Enter Bastard.

 All Kent hath yielded. Nothing there holds out
 But Dover Castle. London hath received
 Like a kind host the Dauphin and his powers.
 Your nobles will not hear you, but are gone
35 To offer service to your enemy;
 And wild amazement hurries up and down
 The little number of your doubtful friends.
 Would not my lords return to me again
 After they heard young Arthur was alive?
40 They found him dead and cast into the streets,
 An empty casket where the jewel of life
 By some damned hand was robbed and ta’en away.
 That villain Hubert told me he did live!
 So, on my soul, he did, for aught he knew.
45 But wherefore do you droop? Why look you sad?
 Be great in act, as you have been in thought.

King John
ACT 5. SC. 1

 Let not the world see fear and sad distrust
 Govern the motion of a kingly eye.
 Be stirring as the time; be fire with fire;
50 Threaten the threat’ner, and outface the brow
 Of bragging horror. So shall inferior eyes,
 That borrow their behaviors from the great,
 Grow great by your example and put on
 The dauntless spirit of resolution.
55 Away, and glister like the god of war
 When he intendeth to become the field.
 Show boldness and aspiring confidence.
 What, shall they seek the lion in his den
 And fright him there? And make him tremble there?
60 O, let it not be said! Forage, and run
 To meet displeasure farther from the doors,
 And grapple with him ere he come so nigh.
 The legate of the Pope hath been with me,
 And I have made a happy peace with him,
65 And he hath promised to dismiss the powers
 Led by the Dauphin.
BASTARD  O inglorious league!
 Shall we upon the footing of our land
 Send fair-play orders and make compromise,
70 Insinuation, parley, and base truce
 To arms invasive? Shall a beardless boy,
 A cockered silken wanton, brave our fields
 And flesh his spirit in a warlike soil,
 Mocking the air with colors idly spread,
75 And find no check? Let us, my liege, to arms!
 Perchance the Cardinal cannot make your peace;
 Or if he do, let it at least be said
 They saw we had a purpose of defense.
 Have thou the ordering of this present time.

King John
ACT 5. SC. 2

80 Away, then, with good courage! (Aside.) Yet I
 Our party may well meet a prouder foe.
They exit.