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How And Why Has King John Been Represented In Different Ways?

1748 words - 7 pages

How and Why Was King John portrayed in history?
King John was born on the 24th of December in the year of 1167 to King Henry II and his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine. John was the youngest of five sons to his father, and had been nicknamed “Lackland” by Henry as all of his elder brothers had received a certain share of dominion apart from John alone, however, John seemed to be his father’s favourite. In 1173, a marriage proposal was set up by Henry for his beloved youngest son to Humbert III’s daughter, meaning that John will have the right to a lot of lands but sadly, the wedding didn’t happen. His brothers did not seem very fond of that idea and they rebelled.

John continued to be favoured by his father and in 1177, Henry granted his son the Lordship of Ireland. In 1185, John visited Ireland and during his stay he partied a lot, causing a dent in his reputation amongst the Irish people but amazingly, Henry still preferred his last born, which angered Richard, who had had enough. Instead of sticking by his father’s side, John smartened up and teamed up with Richard against his father. When Henry died in 1189, the throne was passed on to Richard.

Richard being generous gave his younger brother rewards of several lands in England and he also made John the Count of Mortain in France. Whilst he was planning to go through a series of wars, Richard did not want his brother to enter England and he forced John to promise that he wouldn’t and John kept his word until he found out that Richard was intending to give the role of successor to the throne to their nephew. John felt that he should be king and he entered England, breaking his promise and tried to persuade the English people in order to gain the throne but the English would not be won over. They stayed loyal to their King and refused to warm to John, as they hated the way he was doing things. Unfortunately for John, even his mother supported Richard and was in favour of him retaining his crown against John.

John joined forces with Philip II, who was the king of France and together they made sure that John was made the definite king of England after Richard had been arrested in Germany. John seemed to find his brother’s arrest an advantage for him as he would be able to rule the country without the disruption of his brother.
Despite the circumstances, Richard’s people did not fail him as they stayed trustworthy to their king. Through his shenanigans, John was gaining himself a very bad reputation as people saw him as a scheming and disloyal man.

The Bad King John

This is a quote that was taken from a book called “King John and the Abbot”. Like a lot of other sources, this extract does not give a very positive impression of King John. It shows that it was not just a majority of people that failed to like the King but quite a lot of people despised him for the things that he did.

This small quote talks about John and how he was viewed as the meanest man to ever become King....

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