Shakespeare's 'Henry IV' on Film and Television

1428 Words Jan 14th, 2018 6 Pages
Sir John Falstaff is portrayed a charming and humorous villain who treats Hal like a son, and from him the prince learns about the lives, feeling and humanity of the common people and the soldiers in his army, but he never accepts his corrupt and amoral view of life. Throughout the play, and probably even real life, King Henry IV's rule was haunted by the imprisonment and unnatural death of his predecessor Richard II, and he was widely suspected of having his rival murdered. From an early age, he has learned from his father as a purely negative example of how not to be king. In Acts I and II of Henry IV, Part 1, he is already well aware that the type of overthrow or place coup that his father carried out has destroyed the political and social order of the country, turning it into a society where greedy, selfish and corrupt men like Falstaff can thrive. Harry may feel real affection for him, and loyalty to his real father, but he certainly will not govern the country like them. His father feels guilt for his crimes and is condemned by a sense of illegitimacy and fear of being overthrown in turn by his enemies. Harry dutifully fights for his father against rebels like Warwick and Hotspur, but he is also very concerned at the "diseased…
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