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In the Victorian era, King John was one of Shakespeare's most frequently staged plays, in part because its spectacle and pageantry were congenial to Victorian audiences.
King John, however, has decreased in popularity: it is now one of Shakespeare's least-known plays and stagings of it are very rare.
Though a furious Constance accuses Philip of abandoning Arthur, Louis and Blanche are married.
Cardinal Pandolf arrives from Rome bearing a formal accusation that John has disobeyed the pope and appointed an archbishop contrary to his desires.
John attempts to make a deal with Pandolf, swearing allegiance to the Pope in exchange for Pandolf's negotiating with the French on his behalf.
The Bastard reports that the monasteries are unhappy about John's attempt to seize their gold.The earliest known performance took place in 1737, when John Rich staged a production at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.In 1745, the year of the Jacobite rebellion, competing productions were staged by Colley Cibber at Covent Garden and David Garrick at Drury Lane.Kings Philip and John stake their claims in front of Angiers' citizens, but to no avail: their representative says that they will support the rightful king, whoever that turns out to be.
The French and English armies clash, but no clear victor emerges.Each army dispatches a herald claiming victory, but Angiers' citizens continue to refuse to recognize either claimant because neither army has proven victorious.