Study Guide

King John Act 5, Scene 4

By William Shakespeare

Act 5, Scene 4

Read the full text of King John Act 5 Scene 4 with a side-by-side translation HERE.

  • Salisbury, Pembroke, and Lord Bigot come onstage. The battle is still raging.
  • The dudes can't believe that King John's forces are still standing strong. That said, they thinks it's awesome that King John had to leave the battle with a doctor's note.
  • Just then, in comes the French Count Melun, who's trying to hold his guts so they don't fall out of his body. (In other words, he's mortally wounded.)
  • Melun tells the English lords to abandon their rebellion and swear allegiance to King John once more, because if the French and the rebels defeat King John, Louis the Dauphin plans to have all his English allies beheaded.
  • At first, Salisbury can't believe him. But then Melun explains that he is about to die, anyway, and he'll get a better reward in heaven by telling the truth now than by keeping mum. Anyway, he explains, his grandfather was English, so he has some sympathy for them.
  • Salisbury definitely doesn't want to get his head lopped off, so he decides to believe Melun.
  • Salisbury and the other English nobles leave the stage, taking Melun with them.