Summary Of Hotspur And Lear In William Shakespeare's Henry IV

732 Words3 Pages
In the Shakespearean play, Henry IV part I, Hotspur and Hal are portrayed as valiant soldiers. They are not afraid of a good battle or of even dying in a fight. On the other hand, the fearful Falstaff is putting up a performance. He is pretending to be intrepid like Hal and Hotspur, when in truth he is just a coward, to gain the same type of honor Hotspur and Hal have. Hotspur is displayed as a valiant soldier. He is not afraid of a fight and is the one who initiated a battle with Hal. Shakespeare writes, “Nor shall it, Harry, for the hour is come/ To end the one of us; and would to God/ Thy name in arms were now as great as mine!” (Shakespeare, 5.4.67-69). Hotspurs is not afraid to die in this battle, and knows that there is a chance he will…show more content…
In this sense, he fakes his death to save his life and pretends to kill Hotspur to gain some honor. Shakespeare writes: The better part of valour is discretion, in the which better part I have saved my life. Zounds, I am afraid of this gunpowder Percy, though he be dead. How if he should counterfeit too and rise? By my faith, I am afraid he would prove the better counterfeit. Therefore I’ll make him sure; yea, and I’ll swear I killed him. Why may not he rise as well as I? Nothing confutes me but my eyes, and nobody sees me. Therefore, sirrah (stabbing him), with a new wound in your thigh, come along with me. (Shakespeare, 5.4.118-126) Falstaff is full of play pretend. His is such a coward that he admits he is afraid of Hotspur, a valiant man, even after he is dead. However, he is going to pretend that he is valiant and that he is the one who killed Hotspur. His use of the word counterfeit is to express who he really is. In this sense, counterfeit means fake or forgery. By pretending he is the one who killed Hotspur he is faking an act of heroism. Therefore, the actor who plays Falstaff, plays a coward, who plays a hero. Thus, differently than the valiant Hotspur and Hal, Falstaff is nothing but a fearful man who forges the performance of

    More about Summary Of Hotspur And Lear In William Shakespeare's Henry IV

      Open Document