+ 1-888-787-5890  
   + 1-302-351-4405  
 
 
 
 

Essay/Term paper: Role of falstaff in henry iv, part one

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Shakespeare

Free essays available online are good but they will not follow the guidelines of your particular writing assignment. If you need a custom term paper on Shakespeare: Role Of Falstaff In Henry IV, Part One, you can hire a professional writer here to write you a high quality authentic essay. While free essays can be traced by Turnitin (plagiarism detection program), our custom written essays will pass any plagiarism test. Our writing service will save you time and grade.


Falstaff's Role in Henry IV, Part One


Henry IV, Part One, has always been one of the most popular of Shakespeare's plays, maybe because of Falstaff. Much of the early criticism I found concentrated on Falstaff and so
will I. This may begin in the eighteenth century with Samuel Johnson. For Johnson, the Prince is a "young man of great abilities and violent passions," and Hotspur is a "rugged soldier," but "Falstaff, unimitated, unimitable Falstaff, how shall I describe thee? Thou compound of sense and vice . . . a character loaded with faults, and with faults which produce contempt . . . a thief, a glutton, a coward, and a boaster, always ready to cheat the weak and prey upon the poor; to terrify the timorous and insult the defenceless . . . his wit is not of the splendid or ambitious kind, but consists in easy escapes and sallies of levity [yet] he is stained with no enormous or sanguinary crimes, so that his licentiousness is not so offensive but that it may be borne for his mirth."
Johnson makes three assumptions in his reading of the play:
1. That Falstaff is the kind of character who invites a moral judgment mainly that he can answer to the charge of being a coward.
2. That you (the reader) can detach Falstaff's frivolity from the play and it can exist for its own sake apart from the major theme of the drama.
3. That the play is really about the fate of the kingdom, and that you (the reader) do not connect Falstaff's scenes with the main action. This means that the play has no real unity.
Starting with Johnson's first assumption, I do agree with this. Any discussion of Falstaff is bound to include a judgement about his moral character. Is he a coward, a thief, a glutton? No one can deny that he is in fact a glutton and a thief. A coward is debatable. I choose to think he is. He is self centered and cares only for his own profit and enjoyment. He will protect himself at all costs including playing " possum" if necessary to avoid injury. When he misuses the money intended to buy troops and weapons, he turns it into profit for himself. Once again, with no concern for anyone else, he potentially jeopardizes the troops, the battle and the kingdom with substandard men and materials while making money for himself. It makes the reader question, what kind of friend is he to Hal that he would misuse the trust that has been given him. All the easier for Hal to ultimately recognize that this is not the kind of person or people he wants to associate himself with, let alone approve of.
Johnson's second assumption that you can detach Falstaff's frivolity from the real drama is in fact true, but what would you have left? A less interesting, less amusing drama with only one main plot. Falstaff is of paramount importance to the sub-plot dealing with Hal's decision between continuing his carefree life style or maturing into the role he is destined to play as a respected prince and later king. This story would be pretty dull if Hal didn't have to choose between an entertaining life like Falstaff's or an honorable one as a gallant warrior and respected leader.
Johnson's last assumption that the "Falstaff" scenes have nothing to do with the main action is incorrect if you agree that this sub-plot is necessary for an engaging drama. In Act 2, Scene 4, after Hal says, while role playing as the King with Falstaff, "That villainous abominable misleader of youth, Falstaff, that old white-bearded Satan". Falstaff, as Hal, tries to reason, "No, my good lord, banish Peto, banish Bardolph, banish Poins, but for sweet Jack Falstaff, kind Jack Falstaff, true Jack Falstaff, valiant Jack Falstaff, and therefore more valiant, being as he is old Jack Falstaff, banish not him thy Harry's company, banish him not thy Harry's company; banish plump Jack, and banish all the world". Hal, again as the King, says, "I do, I will". He indicates that after becoming king he would choose to rid the kingdom of people the likes of Falstaff. He is indicating that he has chosen the path for his life and made his own moral judgement on Falstaff. This scene and therefore Falstaff's very being are significant to show Hal's evolution into a "true" prince.
Falstaff's character is necessary to Hal's character development just as Hotspur's temperament is necessary to his. Falstaff's wit, humor and amusing antics are needed to develop Hal. He helps us relate to Hal and his decision. We know people of all types of character and personality in our lives. They influence our thinking and decisions. So it is also necessary for Hal.
Wether Falstaff is only a coward and glutton, or a person who has an "amusing" way of expressing his deeply felt personal and political beliefs is a matter of individual interpretation. I am not sure that it really matters as long as it contributes to Hal's maturing process, and it does.
In conclusion, every age of man has and will continue to judge Falstaff's role based on the morals and the thinking of the day. His frivolity is necessary to make the play amusing and interesting enough to hold the reader's/viewer's attention. However, that Falstaff's scenes are needed should go without question leaving the critics and us only to debate his motivation and his tactics.
 

Other sample model essays:

High School Essays / Roll Of Thunder Hear My Cry
Cassie also found herself coming to conclusions about everyday life for a black person and their family living in Mississippi. The land, the 400 acres of land her family owned, was more important than...
High School Essays / Roman Gods
Just like all other religion, the ancient Roman religion was centered around gods. A whole bunch of gods. A stinking lot of gods. From early childhood they were taught about all the gods. All o...
The era of Romanticism spans from the late 1700"s to the mid 1800"s following the French Revolution; therefore, "Romanticism" encompasses characteristics of the human mind in addition to the parti...
High School Essays / Romantic Sonnets
The Romantic sonnet holds in its topics the ideals of the time period, concentrating on emotion, nature, and the expression of "nothing." The Romantic era was one that focused on the...
High School Essays / Romanticism
Romanticism is an artistic and intellectual movement originating in Europe in the late 18th century and is characterized by a heightened interest in nature, emphasis on an individual's expressi...
High School Essays / Rome, Italy
June 10, 1996 Rome, Italy The City of Rome, Italy is located along the Tiber River in the west-central part of the Italian mainland, approximately a mere fifteen miles inland f...
ROMEO AND JULIET - TRAGEDY, LOVE STORY OR BOTH? Shakespeare's tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, is the tale of two lovers who take their lives for each other when their love is hindered by their feu...
Is Romeo and Juliet's death a tragedy of two families or a tragedy of a city? In the following quote, W. H. Auden says, "The tragedy of Romeo and Juliet….is not simply a tragedy of two individu...
Romeo and Juliet / Romeo & Juliet
Romeo & Juliet Journal Act I: Hi. I am Roberto Montague, Romeo's cousin. This is the first of five entries to this journal. Many things happened today. Some of these things are that Sampso...
Films are made with the directors different personal opinions based on the original screenplay. For the movie version of Romeo + Juliet (1996), the quote above illustrates this perfectly. For th...
it is always perfect
Frederick, Maryland, United States
The experience with Dream Essay is stress free. Service is excellent and forms various forms of communication all help with customer service. Dream Essay is customer oriented. Writer 17663 is absolutely excellent. This writer provides the highest quality of work possible.
Browns Mills, New Jersey, United States
Dream Essay is excellent. Writer 7135 is excellent. Met all requirements of the paper produce superb work. Thank you for your time and an excellent paper.
Browns Mills, New Jersey, United States
Writer 37301 is excellent produces assignments ahead of deadline which provides enough time for review and revisions, and the assignments are done according to rubrics. Excellent
Browns Mills, New Jersey, United States
Only competent & proven writers
Original writing — no plagiarism
Our papers are never resold or reused, period
Satisfaction guarantee — free unlimited revisions
Client-friendly money back guarantee
Total confidentiality & privacy
Guaranteed deadlines
Live Chat & 24/7 customer support
All academic and professional subjects
All difficulty levels
12pt Times New Roman font, double spaced, 1 inch margins
The fastest turnaround in the industry
Fully documented research — free bibliography guaranteed
Fax (additional info): 866-332-0244
Fax (additional info): 866-308-7123
Live Chat Support
Need order related assistance?—Click here to submit a inquiry
© Dreamessays.com. All Rights Reserved.
Dreamessays.com is the property of MEDIATECH LTD