King Johan

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King Johan is a sixteenth-century English play. Written by a Carmelite monk named John Bale, it is considered a possible influence on William Shakespeare's later work King John.

The play was written by Bale sometime in the 1550s. Considered a piece of Protestant propaganda, the play told the story of John of England, who reigned during the thirteenth century in England. The King, who is opposed to the Catholic Pope, is shown to be against a number of Catholic villains, but is eventually assassinated by Sedition and Dissimulation before being defended by Verity.

King Johan debuted in the royal court of Henry VIII of England, and was unlikely to have been performed beyond the 1560s. The play itself was likely about sixteenth century England, as the play acted as an affirmation of John of England's rule, a reign that was often compared to Elizabeth I of England's.

The play was also groundbreaking as it was the first English language play to cast a historical English monarch as a character of virtue.