The Character of Falstaff in Henry IV Essay

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The Character of Falstaff in Henry IV

None of Shakespeare's plays are read more than the first and second parts of Henry IV. Particularly in Henry IV Part I, Shakespeare writes chronologically historical and interesting to follow events. The reader follows the chain of events with devotion and content eager to find out what happens next. Even though the hero of the play is Prince Henry, or Hal as we know him, the reader may find themselves more focused on Falstaff, one of the other major characters that Shakespeare created for comical relief. He was a witty, self-conscious, self-centered companion of the Prince. King Henry even criticized his eldest son for keeping company with such a low man. Even though Hal is
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Prince Hal was the hero of the play, but Falstaff was the character to follow. (Johnson 235)

Hal's opposite was a peer to him, the younger of the Percy's Hotspur. Shakespeare properly named this character Hotspur for he was indeed a character with a hot temper and passionate ideas and actions. He longed for a one-on-one match with the Prince, which he did get at the end of the play. Unfortunately for himself, he lost it and was eventually eliminated. Yet I would have to agree with Johnson once again that Falstaff received the center attention of the reader.( Johnson 235 )

Sir John, or as he was commonly known in the play as Falstaff, was a knight to the King Henry. He was a man of large proportions, indulging into the sweet things in life. He was a man of low morale, as Johnson had noted in his essay. He was a coward and the viewer got to see that in the robbery scene that was aforementioned above. He cared for nothing in life but to satisfy his needs. He preyed upon the poor, he was always ready to cheat and lie. Yet we have grown an attachment to him, for he is a character that we learn to like. Michael Goldman highlighted that point in his Shakespeare and the Energies of Drama. When at the end of the Boar's Head Tavern scene, when the viewer learns that the Sheriff is outside looking for the robbers, Prince Hal defends the fat knight. However, we find Falstaff soundly asleep behind an array. This scene
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