The Folger Shakespeare Library

“Grief fills the room up of my absent child.”

—Constance, mother of Arthur, Duke of Brittany, mourns King John’s capture of her son.

Act 3, Scene 4, line 95.

Read the full play.


From the Collection

Image of Mrs. Siddons as Constance

This print shows English actress Sarah Siddons as Constance in a late 18th-century production of King John.

ART File S568 no.54 (size S)

Read more about Sarah Siddons’ life and roles on Folgerpedia.

Listen to Stanley Wells discuss Siddons’ ability to “hypnotize audiences” on the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast.

King John promptbook from the Antioch Shakespeare Festival

Director Arthur Lithgow’s promptbook corresponds to a 1952 production of King John for the Antioch Shakespeare Festival.

PROMPT John Fo. 1

Listen to the founders’ children discuss the Festival and repertory theatre on the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast.

Photograph of a production of King John starring Madame Modjeska

Elita Proctor Otis as Arthur clutches well-known Polish actress Helena Modjeska as Constance in this photo from an early 20th-century production of King John

ART File M693.4 no.26 PHOTO

Read more about Modjeska on Folgerpedia.

Illustration of “Good Hubert, Hubert, Hubert, throw thine eye on you[r] young boy”

This detail of an opaque-and-ink drawing depicts Act 3, Scene 3 from King John featuring actor Herbert Beerbohm Tree as the eponymous king. In this scene, John, second from left, orders the loyal Hubert to murder his royal rival Arthur.

ART Box P111.6 no.1 (size S)

Read the full scene on Folger Digital Texts.

A censored page of King John from a Second Folio 

This copy of the Second Folio (1632) was once owned by a Jesuit College in Spain. A censor blotted out some lines in the beginning of the third act. 

STC 22274 Fo.2 no.07

We will continue adding more to this page over time. Stay tuned! 


Buy your own copy of the Folger Edition of King John