Study Guide

King John Tough-o-Meter

By William Shakespeare


(4) Tree Line

There are two main things that make King John tricky. The first is the language. The language in King John isn't any easier or any harder than it is in your typical Shakespeare play. It's all thee and thou, of course, and there's some weird vocabulary, but you'll get the hang of it.

The other tricky thing is picking up on all the historical background of what's going on during King John's reign. This can be a bit tricky if you are coming to the play without any background knowledge of this period of European history. Fortunately, that's what Shmoop is here for. As you follow our "Detailed Summary" of the play, we'll take a pause now and then for some tasty history snacks to help fill you in on all the historical 411.