King John | Critical Essay by A. R. Braunmuller

This literature criticism consists of approximately 22 pages of analysis & critique of King John.
This section contains 6,365 words
(approx. 22 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by A. R. Braunmuller

Critical Essay by A. R. Braunmuller

SOURCE: "King John and Historiography," in ELH, Vol. 55, No. 2, Summer, 1988, pp. 309-32.

In the following excerpt, Braunmuller argues that no distinction can be made between the so-called truth of Shakespeare's historical sources and the so-called fiction of his dramatic sources or of his own play King John.

Meercraft: By my 'faith you are cunning i' the Chronicle, Sir.
Fitzdottrel: No, I confess I ha't from the Playbooks,
And think they'are more authentic.
Engine: That's sure, Sir.

—Ben Johnson, The Devil Is an Ass

Thinking about Renaissance English history plays, we typically but wrongly treat the chronicles as sources of a different color. Making Comedy of Errors from Menaechmi, or Measure for Measure from Promos and Cassandra, or a history play from Hall and Holinshed, Foxe and Stowe, are similar creative acts because Hall, Holinshed, Foxe, Stowe, Whetstone...

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This section contains 6,365 words
(approx. 22 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by A. R. Braunmuller
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