Peter of Pomfret is a fascinating character in William Shakespeare's play, King John. Although he only appears in a few scenes, his presence has a significant impact on the events of the play. Peter is a prophet and a hermit who predicts the downfall of King John and the rise of a new king.
Little is known about Peter's background or how he became a hermit. Some believe that he was once a nobleman who renounced his former life to live a solitary existence, while others speculate that he was a commoner who gained prophetic powers through divine intervention. Regardless of his origins, Peter's prophecies and his unwavering belief in their accuracy make him a captivating character.
One of the most memorable scenes involving Peter takes place in Act 3, when he is brought before King John and his court. Peter boldly proclaims that King John's reign will soon come to an end and that a new king, whom he refers to as "the next king of England," will rise to power. This prophecy unsettles the court and adds to the growing tension and uncertainty surrounding King John's rule.
Peter's prophecy proves to be accurate when King John meets his demise towards the end of the play. This reinforces the belief in his prophetic abilities and elevates his status as a mystical figure within the play.
Peter's character serves as a reminder of the unpredictability of fate and the fragility of power. His presence adds an element of mystery and intrigue to the play, leaving the audience to ponder the role of destiny in shaping the events of the story.
While Peter of Pomfret may not be a central character in King John, his role as a prophet and his accurate prediction of King John's downfall make him a compelling and memorable figure. His enigmatic presence and prophetic abilities contribute to the overall dramatic tension of the play, and serve as a reminder that even the most powerful rulers are subject to the forces of fate.