King John

by: William Shakespeare

Act IV, Scene iii

So where is fate? Arthur told Hubert that Hubert could not kill him because fate kept the fire too low to heat the iron to put out his eyes. But it seems he escaped merely by the skin of his teeth from Hubert and the executioners, and his luck ran out. Bad judgment, not the hand of fate, led to his death, and only misunderstandings and more bad judgments follow. And fate certainly is not helping John, who sees he is in trouble when his lords abandon him, then delights in what he assumes is a way out, and soon will see his luck changing again--this time permanently and for the worse. There is no consistent set of positive or negative things happening to either side, and chance, rather than fate or even narrative logic, seems to be directing events.


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