Study Guide

King John Allusions

By William Shakespeare


Major Literary Sources

  • The Troublesome Reign of King John, King of England (1591): Plenty of literary scholars think this anonymous play is Shakespeare's major source for King John.
  • Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland (2nd edition, 1587): Shakespeare's primary source for history plays like King John and also other works like Macbeth.

Historical References

  • Divine Right Theory of Kingship (3.1)
  • Corrupt Clergy (3.1)
  • The [Spanish] Armada (3.4)
  • King John's Submission to Rome (4.3)