Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Life and Death of King John Act 5, Scenes 1 and 2


this is the unfinished blog from the day i couldn't log into my account on my phone, to be caught up on soon...

alright kiddies. i am writing to you after a long birthday filled with love and awesomeness, followed by an equally long day of tubing at the awesome rock springs in kelly park. we are about to do some night swimming, so i have to squeeze my blog in while i can! boy oh boy am i going to have to do some extra reading next week because in addition to the past 2 days of time-consuming fun, i heard through the grapevine that we're going to harry potter at universal tomorrow!!! another gloriously busy and fun day, but hard on the Shakespeare project. there's only so much reading you can do in the car, ya know? anyway, let's get to it, because this play totally rocks.

act 5, scene 1
King John yields his crown to the Cardinal so that the Cardinal can officially give it back to him under the name of Rome. John asks the Cardinal to keep his promise of going to the French and telling them to stop their attack because Rome and England are now reconciled. the Bastard enters to deliver the news that Lewis, the Dauphin, is on English land with his army. he also explains that the Lords would not return to him because Arthur is actually dead. John is angry with Hubert, but the Bastard defends him. John explains the deal he made with the Cardinal to make peace with the Dauphin, but the Bastard urges John 'to arms!'

act 5, scene 2
the Lords are with the Dauphin, readying themselves for war. Salisbury is reluctant to draw his sword against his own countrymen, and weeps for what he is about to do. Lewis, the Dauphin, thinks Salisbury's sentiment is noble, but urges and reassures him to move on. the Cardinal delivers the news of Rome's reconciliation with England. Lewis basically tells him that that is nice, but he's come too far and worked too hard to give up the fight now. (see quote below.) the Bastard enters as a messenger from John to find out what the Dauphin's plans are. Pandulph explains that the French will not back down from this fight. the Bastard boldly and brashly speaks on behalf of John and England, and everyone parts to prepare for battle.

i ask again, why is the Bastard so bloodthirsty? he always wants to go to war. it's so weird! i understand that we are supposed to identify with him because he's more like a commoner than the rest of the characters and he is often the outsider in different situations. so were the people of the time that ready to battle and settle things through force? or is it just a random character choice? what do you think?

i am a little confused about what John means by his last line of act 5, scene 1. is he agreeing with the Bastard and calling for soldiers? i'm not really sure.

also, i am upset we don't get to see Hubert tell John off. i know he's the king but come on... he totally deserves it!

i am wondering what King Philip of France would think of the Dauphin's decisions expressed in the monologue below. i feel like he would be pretty unhappy. in the earlier scenes, Philip seemed to be a pretty stand-up legit guy, i hope we find out his reaction!

quote of the day:
'your Grace shall pardon me; i will not back.
i am too highborn to be propertied,
to be a secondary at control,
or useful servingman and instrument
to any sovereign state throughout the world.
your breath first kindled the dead coal of wars
between this chastised kingdom and myself,
and brought in matter that should feed this fire;
and now 'tis far too huge to be blown out
with that same weak wind which enkindled it.
you taught me how to know the face of right,
acquainted me with interest to this land,
yea, thrust this enterprise into my heart.
and come ye now to tell me John hath made
his peace with Rome? what is that peace to me?
i, by the honor of my marriage bed,
after young Arthur, claim this land for mine;
and, now it is half conquered, must i back
because that John hath made his peace with Rome?
am i Rome's slave? what penny hath Rome borne,
what men provided, what munition sent,
to underprop this action? is't not i
that undergo this charge? who else but i,
and such as to my claim are liable,
sweat in this business and maintain this war?
have i not heard these islanders shout out
"vive le roi!" as i have banked their towns?
have i not here the best cards for the game
to win this easy match played for a crown?
and shall i now give o'er the yielded set?
no, no, on my soul, it never shall be said.'
   -Lewis; act 5, scene 2

for tomorrow: the rest of act 5! and my birthday! woo!

-rebecca may

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