The Role Of Falstaff In King Henry IV

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Falstaff

Throughout the world, there have been many renowned writers that left their mark in literature such as, Christopher Marlowe and Robert Greene, but none more revered than Shakespeare. In his lifetime, Shakespeare composed many great plays with distinctive characters; however, one of the most noted characters of all is Falstaff in the The First Part of King Henry the Fourth (Henry IV). The essential reason Falstaff is timeless and able to continuously resonate with people is because of the presumed idea that he is a fool. Before this idea that Falstaff is indeed a fool, it is necessary to constitute the classifications precisely. The definition of a fool is "a silly or stupid person; a person who lacks judgment or sense" (Ammer). From the play Henry IV, Falstaff could be deemed many things: fat, thief, and liar, but after careful analysis, he is all but a fool. Falstaff uses manipulation, charm, and a representation of a father figure to warrant a certain level of trust and
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He throws a reversed sense of charm to charm the prince’s mind into subtle submission. In one part, he begs Prince Hal to banish the other ruffians “but for sweet Jack Falstaff, kind Jack Falstaff, true Jack -Falstaff, valiant Jack Falstaff . . . Banish not him thy Harry’s company, / Banish not him thy Harry’s company” (Shakespeare ). Falstaff’s portrayal of himself as “sweet,” “kind,” “true,” and “valiant” rings hollow; meanwhile Falstaff is quite clearly a cowardly robber who loves to embellish. Nevertheless, the reiteration of his plea to Prince Hal to not banish him seems to display his request with a mark of seriousness and possibly sadness. He has intellectual power, he is quick, and knows how people function. He surrounds himself with people he can manipulate. This strategy with the Prince can only go so far because he is the future king to

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