In spite of its less than stellar construction, King John is a timely piece for this election season. John is generally seen as an arch-villain much in the way he’s portrayed in the Robin Hood stories. Shakespeare’s play is more evenhanded in its chronicling of his reign. Whether Kings and Queens or elected officials the truth is, power is placed in the hands of people with all the failings of humanity and power is a very seductive thing. John isn’t a villain any more than his fabled older brother is a courageous hero who kills a lion single handedly. Maybe our need to believe our politicians and elected officials are somehow greater than life is part of the equation. In this play we see John as a very human character goaded by his mother to take the throne and then spends most of his reign defensively trying to hold on to that power. Not a villain – a man simply trying to keep his head above water. A weak man, yes, but in his struggle and failure, perhaps we can come to appreciate the virtues of someone who has the courage to acknowledge human frailty and still tries to find a way to do the right thing.