Study Guide

King John Act 3, Scene 3

By William Shakespeare

Act 3, Scene 3

Read the full text of King John Act 3 Scene 3 with a side-by-side translation HERE.

  • King John and his posse come back on stage.
  • Now Eleanor is with them. Arthur is still being held prisoner by King John's men.
  • King John tells Arthur not to worry: he'll take good care of him.
  • Next, King John tells the Bastard to go to England and plunder the riches of all the monasteries.
  • The Bastard leaves to do his job.
  • At this point, Eleanor calls Arthur over to her side to have a chat with him. This leaves King John free to have a private chat with Hubert.
  • King John starts off by telling Hubert that he owes him one. Hubert says, "Hey, no problem."
  • Then King John starts acting weird. He says he wants to say something to Hubert, but he can't, because the time isn't right. If it were a dark, gloomy night, and they were standing in a graveyard, then the atmosphere would be right.
  • (Gee, King John, just spit it out already.)
  • Hubert is all, "You can trust me, King John. I'm your loyal subject."
  • King John says something like "You see that little brat over there? He's like a little snake that's always in my way. You know what I'm sayin', Hubert? I sure wish someone would take care of him for me."
  • Hubert gets the hint, but then King John can't resist stating the obvious: he tells Hubert that he wants the kid dead and buried ASAP.
  • Hubert says, "No problem."
  • With that out of the way, King John announces that now he can be "merry," and he gets ready to leave.
  • King John says goodbye to his mom and tells Arthur not to worry: Uncle Hubert's going to take really good care of him. (Dang. That's cold-blooded.)
  • Then they all leave the stage.
  • History Snack: Shakespeare's Queen Elizabeth I signed the death warrant of her cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots in 1587, just a few short years before Shakespeare wrote King John. Mary was involved in a plot to kill Elizabeth, who was standing between her and the English throne.