Falstaff - Wikipedia
He is less interested in prince Hal, and more interested in the doubt in my mind that Shakespeare elucidates a fairly troubling relationship Hal. In Henry IV, Falstaff is an important figure and companion to Prince Hal and and Falstaff at times seems simplistically fatherly, the reality of their relationship is . To Prince Hal, who has exposed Falstaff's lies about what was Addressing Prince Hal as “lad” shows the close relationship between them.
Rather early in the play, in fact, Hal informs us that his riotous time will soon come to a close, and he will re-assume his rightful high place in affairs by showing himself worthy to his father and others through some unspecified noble exploits.
Hal believes that this sudden change of manner will amount to a greater reward and acknowledgment of prince-ship, and in turn earn him respect from the members of the court. The revolt of Mortimer and the Percys very quickly gives him his chance to do just that. The high and the low come together when the Prince makes up with his father and is given a high command.
He vows to fight and kill the rebel Hotspur, and orders Falstaff who is, after all, a knight to take charge of a group of foot soldiers and proceed to the battle site at Shrewsbury. Falstaff enacts the part of the king. The battle is crucial because if the rebels even achieve a standoff their cause gains greatly, as they have other powers awaiting under Northumberland, Glendower, Mortimer, and the Archbishop of York. Henry needs a decisive victory here.
He outnumbers the rebels,  but Hotspur, with the wild hope of despair, leads his troops into battle. The day wears on, the issue still in doubt, the king harried by the wild Scot Douglas, when Prince Hal and Hotspur, the two Harrys that cannot share one land, meet. Finally they will fight — for glory, for their lives, and for the kingdom. No longer a tavern brawler but a warrior, the future king prevails, ultimately killing Hotspur in single combat.
On the way to this climax, we are treated to Falstaff, who has "misused the King's press damnably",  not only by taking money from able-bodied men who wished to evade service but by keeping the wages of the poor souls he brought instead who were killed in battle "food for powder, food for powder". After Hal leaves Hotspur's body on the field, Falstaff revives in a mock miracle.
Prince Hal Quotes (9 quotes)
Seeing he is alone, he stabs Hotspur's corpse in the thigh and claims credit for the kill. Soon after being given grace by Hal, Falstaff states that he wants to amend his life and begin "to live cleanly as a nobleman should do". The play ends at Shrewsbury, after the battle. The death of Hotspur has taken the heart out of the rebels,  and the king's forces prevail.
Prince Hal Quotes
Henry is pleased with the outcome, not least because it gives him a chance to execute Thomas Percy, the Earl of Worcester, one of his chief enemies though previously one of his greatest friends. Meanwhile, Hal shows off his kingly mercy in praise of valour; having taken the valiant Douglas prisoner, Hal orders his enemy released without ransom.
This unsettled ending sets the stage for Henry IV, Part 2. Date and text[ edit ] 1 Henry IV was almost certainly in performance bygiven the wealth of allusions and references to the Falstaff character. Hal the future Henry V has forsaken the Royal Court to waste his time in taverns with low companions. This makes him an object of scorn to the nobles and calls into question his royal worthiness.
Hal's chief friend and foil in living the low life is Sir John Falstaff.
Fat, old, drunk, and corrupt as he is, he has a charisma and a zest for life that captivates the Prince. Hal likes Falstaff but makes no pretense at being like him. He enjoys insulting his dissolute friend and makes sport of him by joining in Poins' plot to disguise themselves and rob and terrify Falstaff and three friends of loot they have stolen in a highway robbery, purely for the fun of watching Falstaff lie about it later, after which Hal returns the stolen money.
Rather early in the play, in fact, Hal informs us that his riotous time will soon come to a close, and he will re-assume his rightful high place in affairs by showing himself worthy to his father and others through some unspecified noble exploits. Hal believes that this sudden change of manner will amount to a greater reward and acknowledgment of prince-ship, and in turn earn him respect from the members of the court.
On the way to this climax, we are treated to Falstaff, who has "misused the King's press damnably",  not only by taking money from able-bodied men who wished to evade service but by keeping the wages of the poor souls he brought instead who were killed in battle "food for powder, food for powder".
After Hal leaves Hotspur's body on the field, Falstaff revives in a mock miracle. Seeing he is alone, he stabs Hotspur's corpse in the thigh and claims credit for the kill.
Though Hal knows better, he allows Falstaff his disreputable tricks. Soon after being given grace by Hal, Falstaff states that he wants to amend his life and begin "to live cleanly as a nobleman should do".
Falstaff Quotes (10 quotes)
However, unlike Part One, Hal's and Falstaff's stories are almost entirely separate, as the two characters meet only twice and very briefly. The tone of much of the play is elegiac, focusing on Falstaff's age and his closeness to death, which parallels that of the increasingly sick king. Falstaff is still drinking and engaging in petty criminality in the London underworld.
He first appears, followed by a new character, a young page whom Prince Hal has assigned him as a joke. Falstaff enquires what the doctor has said about the analysis of his urineand the page cryptically informs him that the urine is healthier than the patient.
Falstaff delivers one of his most characteristic lines: He then complains of his insolvency, blaming it on "consumption of the purse. The Lord Chief Justice enters, looking for Falstaff. Falstaff at first feigns deafness in order to avoid conversing with him, and when this tactic fails pretends to mistake him for someone else. As the Chief Justice attempts to question Falstaff about a recent robbery, Falstaff insists on turning the subject of the conversation to the nature of the illness afflicting the King.
He then adopts the pretense of being a much younger man than the Chief Justice: Falstaff rebuked, Robert Smirkec. After Falstaff ejects Pistol, Doll asks him about the Prince. Falstaff is embarrassed when his derogatory remarks are overheard by Hal, who is present disguised as a musician. Falstaff tries to talk his way out of it, but Hal is unconvinced.
When news of a second rebellion arrives, Falstaff joins the army again, and goes to the country to raise forces. There he encounters an old school friend, Justice Shallow, and they reminisce about their youthful follies.
Shallow brings forward potential recruits for the loyalist army: Mouldy, Bullcalf, Feeble, Shadow and Wart, a motley collection of rustic yokels. Falstaff and his cronies accept bribes from two of them, Mouldy and Bullcalf, not to be conscripted. Hath Butler brought those horses from the sheriff?
This is no world To play with mammets and to tilt with lips.
We must have bloody noses, and crack'd crowns, And pass them current too. So offended is he at the dishonourable action of the king in refusing to ransom Mortimer that he will not listen to reason. His father, Northumberland, responds to his outburst: Why, what a wasp-stung and impatient fool Art thou, to break into this woman's mood, Tying thine ear to no tongue but thine own! Once again we see 'A harebrained Hotspur, govern'd by a spleen' 5.
I rather of his absence make this use: It lends a lustre and more great opinion, A larger dare to out great enterprise, Than if the earl were here. Hotspur is brave and fair and his intense code of honour is not formed out of the desire for power.
Hotspur explains his pursuit of honour in the following passage: O gentleman, the time of life is short! If life did ride upon a dial's point, Still ending at the arrival of an hour. And if we live, we live to tread on kings; If die, brave death, when princes die with us!
Now for our consciences, the arms are fair, When the intent of bearing them is just. Shakespeare was no doubt drawing on a common belief about honour popular in his day, based on Aristotelian ideas but clearly defined in Ashley's essay On Honour: Ashley says that, not only does true honour defend the realm and enlarge dominions, it must also nourish the arts and cherish learning Shalvi, We see Hotspur achieve only one of the many facets of what makes up honour -- military glory.
Hotspur's immoderate concept of honour is crucial to our understanding of Shakespeare's view of what constitutes ideal honour, for when we analyze the concept of honour embraced by Prince Hal, Shakespeare's ideal honourable man, we will better understand his belief that not needing to be seen as honourable is a necessary facet of true honour. If Hotspur functions as a symbol of irrational honour, then Falstaff, with his complete lack of regard for the whole concept of honour, functions as a sharp contrast.
It is obvious when we first encounter Falstaff in the tavern that he totally rejects the standard actions of an honourable man.
He is a thief and is not ashamed to admit it: Why, Hal, 'tis my vocation, Hal. Yea, but how if honour prick me off when I come on? Can honour set to a leg? Or take away the grief of a wound? Honour hath no skill in surgery then? What is that word honour? Falstaff is a corpulent man and the code of honour considered physical appetites a danger to a soldier's valor. Council, 41 And Whetstone, in his Honourable Reputation of a Souldier remarks that 'When the body is stuffed with delicates, the mind is dull, and desirous of ease, which is the undoer of a Souldier Another illustration of Falstaff's disregard for honour comes when he feigns death upon being challenged to fight by Douglas.
But what clearly proves Falstaff is the antithesis of the honourable man is his decision to take credit for the killing of Hotspur: Therefore, sirrah, with a new wound in your thigh, come you along with me.
He does not want to give up any pleasure or risk potential bodily harm in obtaining honour, yet he does not consider himself to be a coward: What, a coward, Sir John Paunch?