King John Divided
AbstractAmong the history plays, King John is historically prior to the two Shakespeare tetralogies. Partly for this reason it is the least well‐known of the early history plays. Despite an increasing recognition by scholars that collaboration was the norm before the mid‐1590s, the Shakespearean integrity of King John has been hitherto unquestioned. Stylistic markers, previously recognized for their ability to discriminate authors, however, consistently differentiate two bodies of text within the play, one of which is unmistakably Shakespeare’s. Marlowe’s authorship of the non‐Shakespeare text, though improvable, is a plausible inference.