Falstaff In King Henry's King Henry IV

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In Act II scene four of King Henry IV Part 1, Prince Harry, or Hal, and his friends are drinking in Boar’s Head Tavern in Eastcheap, London. Sir John Bracy sends a message from King Henry to Harry at the tavern. He warns that Percy is growing a rebellion up north. Falstaff suggest that he will pretend to be King Henry so when Harry confronts his father he has already rehearsed how he’ll respond. As the King, Falstaff praises himself. Harry stops Falstaff criticizing that that’s not how his father would speak. Taking the role of his father, Harry begins to insult Falstaff, and changing their role play from playful and light, to more humorless and stern. The tone in which the King is acted as, exhibits how callow, and frivolous Falstaff is …show more content…
On the surface, Falstaff is known as the old, fat, maudlin, and lazy man, but this passage reveals a layer of insecurity Falstaff has. Falstaff uses a lot of words to fluff himself up. He calls himself “cheerful” (2.4.348), and “noble” (2.4.349) and being “old and merry” is not a sin (2.4.391). Though this is all said through humor, Falstaff is pleading his case to Hal. Trying to argue their friendship, he even jokingly says “banish Peto, banish Bardolph, banish Poins,” attempting to persuade Hal to not relegate “sweet, kind, true, valiant old Jack Falstaff” (2.4.394). Falstaff knows he has nothing to offer Hal in their friendship so he must convince Hal of his value. In this passage a lot is revealed about Hal also. He uses strong words such as “ungracious” (2.4.369), and “devil” (2.4.370) to demonstrate that he now understands the severity of his actions in the past. Hal sees that he must change his was in order to earn back his honor and respect from his Father. This is stated with is one line; “I do, I will” (2.4.399). Though very short and almost out of place this line is the turning point for Hal to realize he must, step up, and start taking the responsibility his Father has longed for to …show more content…
While conversation between Falstaff and Hal is short it is the most important for character development. This displays multiple sides of both Falstaff and Hal that gives readers a new found understanding. Falstaff is confirmed as that overly silly, unserious, and immature character, but adding the insecurity creates a whole other complex side. Hal is presented with a choice in how he will live his life. He chooses to look at his wrong doings and further himself from his life of shame. Though not necessarily obvious of the complete change of heart, it is apparent in the next scene Hal in present in. Act three scene two Hal asserts to his Father in an emotional monologue that everything his Father thought of him is wrong. As a way to repair the broken father-son relationship Hal states he will revenge for all the actions Hotspur has taken against them. It shows the massive growth Hal has

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