Friday, May 20, 2011

The Life and Death of King John Act 3, Scenes 3 and 4


fact: i'm not cut out for rehearsal for 7 hours a day, 6 days a week. maybe acting? but not being on the directing side. like, i get that that's normal, but i suck at making it through that. maybe i just need to build my endurance? ha. not sure. all i know is, it's crazy! and my brain is friiiiiiied! so forgive me if this ends up loopy or incoherent or whatever.

act 3, scene 3
King John asks the Bastard to go back to England and take care of business there. he then talks to Hubert, who is to be Arthur's guardian. he is acting really fishy, telling Hubert over and over how great he is and obviously withholding something. at long last, the truth comes out: John wants Hubert to kill Arthur. (see quote below.) Hubert agrees.

act 3, scene 4
King Philip and the Cardinal argue over the battle. Philip feels that all is lost, but the Cardinal assures him that everything will work out for the best. Constance enters and she is a mess. she is so incredibly worried for her son, sure that he will soon be killed, that she wishes for death herself. the Cardinal criticizes her for grieving because he's obviously a huge jerk. Philip says, 'you are as fond of grief as of your child.' because he is also a jerk. Constance leaves and Philip follows her, fearing she might try something crazy. Lewis expresses to the Cardinal that he feels all is lost. the Cardinal tells his why all is well: he is sure that John will have Arthur killed and that the English people will turn on him. at that point, John will surely go down.

okay, i didn't really write about it in my synopsis because i wasn't totally sure how to include it, but there was this really weird thing going on in scene 4 that i have to share. when Constance comes in, she has her hair down. and she talks about pulling it out. and i think her hair becomes some sort of metaphor for her independence and life force and obedience to the king? and he asks her to put it back up, and she does, but then she takes it back down out of defiance. and it's somehow linked to her giving up on life. anyway, it was pretty strange. i don't mean that in a bad way necessarily, i just wanted to call attention to it. i was like- am i back in avant-garde class?

this feels kind of like Henry 6 part 2 to me in that i'm not entirely sure whose side to be on. i was understanding where John was coming from, but this death order for Arthur is a little too much for me. i mean i get that it's a pressured situation but come on...

is Shakespeare like... anti-church? do we know what his religious affiliation is? i feel like church officials in his plays are often villains or fools. please share if you know!

quote of the day:
'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,
and wheresoe'er this foot of mine doth tread
he lies before me. dost thou understand me?
thou art his keeper.'
   -King John; act 3, scene 3

for tomorrow: act 4

-rebecca may


  1. But Friar Laurence is a good guy. I guess he's a little off the grid, though. Plus, despite his good intentions (somewhat self-serving, too), his actions contributed to the tragedy of ROMEO AND JULIET.

  2. true true. i thought of that. i was just thinking of the Henry 6 plays and this one. we will have to keep our eyes peeled on this one. thanks, susan!