William Shakespeare, King John

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The dating of Shakespeare's

King John

depends upon its relationship to the anonymous

Troublesome Raigne of King John

, a polemical historical drama printed in two parts in 1591. While the plot and sequence of the

Troublesome Raigne

's scenes are similar to those of

King John

, the two plays share few linguistic parallels. Those who identify the 

Troublesome Raigne

as Shakespeare's principal source comfortably date

King John

in the mid 1590s, sometime between the conclusion of the first historical tetralogy and the composition of

Richard II

. A minority of scholars consider the

Troublesome Raigne

to be a bad quarto of

King John

and date Shakespeare's original as early as 1590. Other probable sources for

King John

are Holinshed's

Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland

(1587) and John…

2205 words

Citation: Vaughan, Virginia Mason. "King John". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 March 2001; last revised 27 January 2019. [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=4236, accessed 12 June 2024.]

4236 King John 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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