Study Guide

King John Act 5, Scene 6

By William Shakespeare

Act 5, Scene 6

Read the full text of King John Act 5 Scene 6 with a side-by-side translation HERE.


  • Welcome to the neighborhood of Swinstead Abbey, where King John is totally hiding out.
  • The Bastard and Hubert enter the scene from opposite directions. They don't recognize each other in the dark. They're all, "Who's there?" and, "Speak quickly, or I'll shoot!"
  • Eventually, the Bastard recognizes Hubert by his voice and reveals his own identity.
  • Hubert's a little embarrassed that he didn't recognize the Bastard.
  • But then the Bastard says, "Don't worry about it. So tell me, what's happening?"
  • Hubert is all, " King John has totally been poisoned by a monk!"
  • Then Hubert makes it sound like this same monk was also the King's taster, and he died when his own poison made his "bowels suddenly burst out." (Eww. And, yeah, that's totally random, Shmooperinos. What can we say?)
  • The Bastard asks who's guarding the king now. Hubert tells him about how Salisbury, Pembroke, and Bigot are back on King John's side. King John's son, Prince Henry, is also with them. Hubert explains that Prince Henry is the one who got his father to forgive the rebel lords.
  • The Bastard says, "A lot of weird stuff has been happening. For example, when I was on my way here with a bunch of soldiers, nearly all of them were drowned by the tide. I barely escaped myself; luckily, I had a good horse."
  • The Bastard demands to see the king.