Have you ever wondered about the extraordinary individuals who, despite their physical limitations, managed to leave an indelible mark on history? The tale of “The King who Limped” is one that resonates with the triumph of human spirit over adversity. This intriguing account delves into the life of a monarch who faced a unique challenge yet wielded immense power, guiding a kingdom through both the heights of prosperity and the depths of turmoil.
The King who Limped Summary
The King who Limped Introduction:
It is a simple, humorous play. It makes fun of people who try to please others by flattery. They are sycophants. They have no worth of their own. Such people don’t deserve the position they hold. They use flattery as a tool to maintain their position. But a wise person at once sees through their cunning and keeps them at arm’s length. In this play, a new king comes to his court limping and wearing a funny hat. He wants to see if there are any sycophants in his court. In order to please the King, the Prime Minister, the Chancellor and a fat lady-in-waiting start limping. They also get the kind of hat the King is wearing. The King at once sees that these people have no worth at all. They don’t know how to decide even a simple case. The King removes these sycophants from their positions. He appoints those who really deserve it.
The King who Limped Summary in English
The play opens in the Audience Room of the King’s palace. The Prime Minister, the has ncellor, two Ladies-in-waiting and a Courtier are waiting for the new King. None of them – seen the new King before and they are anxious to meet him.From the way they behave in the King’s absence, we get an idea of what kind of people they are. Of the two ladies-in-waiting, the First Lady is tall and slim. The Second Lady is short and very fat. The Prime Minister starts talking foolishly. The First Lady calls him silly.
The Second Lady says that it does not matter how silly he is if he is the Prime Minister. The Chancellor is sitting on the arm of the King’s throne. The Prime Minister at once goes up the steps, pushes the Chancellor away, and sits on the throne. Seeing this, the courtier says meaningfully, “I expect the Prime Minister found the steps hard.” Then through the window, he says that it is raining outside, yet there are crowds of people in the street. Among them he sees the new King coming and says, “Well, that’s queer !”
Second Lady : What’s queer ?
Courtier : Never mind; you’ll soon see.
Second Lady : I do hope he is handsome.
Chancellor : Of course, he is handsome.
Prime Minister : I do hope he won’t want his own way too much.
Chancellor : Of course, he won’t want his own way too much.
Courtier : Why shouldn’t he want his own way
The sound of a trumpet is heard. Both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor try to look important and take positions on either side of the throne. The King enters with the blowing of trumpets. He is wearing a bowler hat and walks with a big limp. Behind him is a Page carrying a dog on a cushion. Behind the Page, there are two Neighbours. Each of them is holding a chain attached to the dog’s collar. The King goes up to the throne. Everyone looks astonished at the King’s unusual appearance. The Second Lady says in a whisper that the King is wearing a funny hat. The Prime Minister whispers that the King limps.
The Prime Minister wants to know about the two meñ the King has brought with him. The King says that he had seen them fighting in the street and brought them with him to settle their dispute. The Chancellor says that it is unusual to bring common people into the · palace. At this the King says, “What did you expect me to do ? Let them go on fighting ?”
The King sees everyone staring at his bowler hat. He asks them what wrong is with his hat. The Chancellor says that their previous King used to wear a crown. The King says, “What ! In this blazing sun ?” He says that he was wearing a hat to save himself from sunstroke. At once the Chancellor takes off his coronet and hands it to a servant. Both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor get for themselves the bowler hats to wear. They start limping also like the King. The King asks them what trouble they have.
The Prime Minister says that he has got a cramp in his leg. The Chancellor says that he has rheumatism. The Second Lady is also seen limping. She says she has sprained her ankle. Both the First Lady and the Courtier behave in their normal, natural manner. The King asks them if there is nothing wrong with them. Both of them say that they have always been very healthy.
Summary of The King who Limped
The Pointing to the two Neighbours, the King asks the Prime Minister what he should do w them. The Prime Minister says that both of them should be put in prison.
King : What for?
Chancellor : For causing a breach of peace.
Second Lady : What is a breach of peace ?
First Lady : Be quiet. You are one !
King : (To the Courtier) What would you do ?
Courtier : I would listen to what they have to say.
At this, the King asks the two Neighbours what they have to say for themselves. The First Neighbour says that he had found the dog starving in the street. He took the dog home and fed it for three months. The Second Neighbour calls the First Neighbour a liar. He says that the dog was his, and it was given to him by his brother. When the King asks him to go and fetch his brother, he says that his brother is dead. Thus it becomes difficult to decide who the real owner is.
King : What is to be done now?
Courtier : Keep the dog yourself, Your Majesty. Then no one can quarrel about it.
King : But I don’t care for dogs. I like cats better.
First Lady : Why not divide the dog in two and give them half each?
The First Neighbour at once agrees to it. But the Second one says, “Let him keep the dog, Your Majesty. It is a good little dog. I cannot bear to see it harmed. Let him have the dog.” The King at once knows the truth. He gives the dog to the Second Neighbour and sends the First one to prison. Then he gets up, takes off his bowler hat and puts it on the throne. Now he walks quite naturally and comes to the Chancellor.
King : Have you still got rheumatism?
Chancellor : Your Majesty, the pain is going off.
King : Why are you wearing a bowler hat ? It looks funny.
Chancellor : Because it is a sunny day, as you yourself said, Your Majesty.
King : Rubbish ! You limped because I limped.
You wore a bowler hat because I wore one. It is raining outside, but you say it is a sunny day, because I said it was a sunny day. You are what they call a sycophant. ………… I put on a limp and wore a funny hat to find out, if there were any honest people in the court. I have found two.
The King removes the Chancellor, the Prime Minister and the Second Lady-in-waiting from the positions they are holding. He makes the Courtier his Prime Minister and the First Lady the chief Lady-in-waiting. And he orders his men to take the bowler hats to the town museum and put them there.