The Character of Falstaff in Henry IV

The Character of Falstaff in Henry IV

Length: 438 words (1.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓

The Character of Falstaff in Henry IV


     The character Sir John Falstaff played a crucial part in Shakespeare's

Henry IV, Part 1.  Falstaff portrayed a side of life that was both brutal

and harsh.  This was important because ,as Falstaff was, all the other main

characters in the play were Nobles.  Unlike Falstaff, the other nobles in

the play acted as nobles.  Falstaff, on the other hand acted more like the

lower class people.  In doing this he portrayed the thoughts and feelings

of the lower class people.  As he portrayed the lower class people, Falstaff

brought the reader to think.  This was because Falstaff contrasted well with

the nobles and brought out new aspects of the themes.  Some of these views

brought out be Falstaff were quite harsh, in comparison to the accepted

views of the time.  To help balance the harshness of his views, Falstaff was

very good natured and invoked laughter in the reader.


     Falstaff lived a harsh life and the severity of his life contributed to

his views and ideas.  Although he was a noble, his views reflected those of

the lower class people. Falstaff did not hold the same view of honor as any

of the other main characters in the novel.  To Falstaff, honor was just a

word and nothing worth dying over.  Some characters in the novel sought

honor through battle.  Falstaff, on the plus side, felt that war was just a

place where people had fun.  He showed this when he allowed himself to be

paid off by the upperclassmen and took the prisoners and thieves to be

killed in battle.  Falstaff knew that they would just be killed and that it

was not worth it to have men with a future be killed.  He, rather, led the

men with no life into battle, to be killed.  Falstaff also had a different

view of loyalty than any of the other nobles.  The nobles felt that one

should be loyal to all.  Falstaff felt that one should be loyal only to

other thieves.


    Falstaff was an excellent talker and also well versed.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Character of Falstaff in Henry IV." 14 Aug 2018

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Character of Falstaff in Henry IV

- The Character of Falstaff in Henry IV                     None of Shakespeare's plays are read more than the first and second parts of Henry IV. Particularly in Henry IV Part I, Shakespeare writes chronologically historical and interesting to follow events. The reader follows the chain of events with devotion and content eager to find out what happens next. Even though the hero of the play is Prince Henry, or Hal as we know him, the reader may find themselves more focused on Falstaff, one of the other major characters that Shakespeare created for comical relief....   [tags: Henry IV Henry V Essays]

Research Papers
1658 words (4.7 pages)

The Character Falstaff in Shakespeare's Henry IV Essay

- The Character Falstaff in Shakespeare's Henry IV Sir John Falstaff has a number of functions in 1 Henry IV, the most obvious as a clownish figure providing comic relief. His many lies and exaggerations entertain because of the wit and cleverness he employs to save himself from paying debts and answering for crimes. He in many ways represents an everyman--a sinner with little shame or honor, who nonetheless maintains at least an outward concern for honor and appearances. "If sack and sugar be a fault, God help the wicked....   [tags: Henry IV Henry V Essays]

Research Papers
1080 words (3.1 pages)

Free Henry IV Essays: The Character of Falstaff

- The Character of Falstaff in Henry IV The character of Falstaff, in Shakespeare’s play Henry IV Part One, serves as an emblem of frivolity and carelessness within a world filled with social and political significance. Falstaff scorns the world of politics and moral decisions in favor of existing from moment to moment. Though he dislikes this "other world", Falstaff realizes he must sometimes come in contact with it. Falstaff’s famous speech in lines 127-139 of Act V shows us how he regards the Prince’s world of honor and duty....   [tags: Henry IV Henry V Essays]

Free Essays
580 words (1.7 pages)

The Character of Falstaff in Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part I Essay

- The Character of Falstaff in Henry IV, Part I        Shakespeare's genius in character and plot development is exemplified in two of his most complex history plays, Richard II and Henry IV, Part I. With these sequential plays, Shakespeare vividly develops characters and sets up complicated plots by juxtapositioning people with others. Specifically, he first creates a binary opposition between Richard and Bolingbrook in Richard II, and then, recalls the plot and carries out an almost mirror image character contrast with Hal and Hotspur in Henry IV, Part I....   [tags: Henry IV Henry V Essays]

Research Papers
1886 words (5.4 pages)

Essay on Falstaff in Henry IV Part I

- The Character of Falstaff in Henry IV Part I   In Henry IV Part I, Shakespeare presents a collection of traditional heroes. Hotspur’s laudable valor, King Henry’s militaristic reign, and Hal’s princely transformation echo the socially extolled values of the Elizabethean male. Molding themselves after societal standards, these flat characters contrast Sir John Falstaff’s round, spirited personality. Through Falstaff’s unorthodox behavior and flagrant disregard for cultural traditions, Shakespeare advocates one’s personal values above society’s....   [tags: Henry IV Henry V Essays]

Research Papers
2514 words (7.2 pages)

Falstaff's Influence on Prince Hal in I Henry IV Essay

- Falstaff's Influence on Prince Hal in I Henry IV     In Shakespearean histories, there is always one individual who influences the major character and considerably advances the plot.  In I Henry IV by William Shakespeare, Falstaff is such a character.  Sir John Falstaff is perhaps the most complex comic character ever invented.  He carries a dignified presence in the mind's eye; and in him,  we recognize our internal admiration and jealousy of the rebellious dual personality that we all secretly wish for....   [tags: Henry IV Henry V Essays]

Free Essays
1116 words (3.2 pages)

Character Analysis: Falstaff Essay examples

- Shakespeare presents a collection of conventional heroes in Henry IV Part 1. Hal’s transformation, Hotspur’s bravery, and King Henry’s aggressive reign echo the societal values of the traditional Elizabethan male. These characters are all examples of society’s standards. Sir John Falstaff’s round, animated personality contrasts these flat characters in the play. By creating a man who flagrantly disregards societal norms through unconventional behavior, Shakespeare supports personal value over societal values....   [tags: Shakespearean Literature ]

Research Papers
1534 words (4.4 pages)

The Moralities of Falstaff and Prince Hal in King Henry IV Essay

- Throughout King Henry IV Part 1, Shakespeare consistently contrasts the opposing worldviews of Falstaff and Prince Hal. Shakespeare portrays Falstaff as the old, overweight drunk who lives only to enjoy himself in the present. In contrast, Shakespeare shows Hal to be the sometimes irresponsible, nevertheless, intelligent and heroic prince whose entire life and character is about planning and preparing not only himself, but also others for the future. Yet, while Falstaff engages in illegal activity to maintain his own pleasure, regardless of any implications, Hal retains his scruples and manages to regain the respect of his peers....   [tags: Morality, characters, King Henry IV, plays, shakes]

Research Papers
810 words (2.3 pages)

Falstaff's Role in Henry IV, Part One Essay

- 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....   [tags: Henry IV Henry V Essays]

Research Papers
961 words (2.7 pages)

Falstaff Essay

- Romanticism, as stated in the American Heritage Electronic Dictionary is, "An artistic and intellectual movement originating in Europe in the late 18th century and characterized by a heightened interest in nature, emphasis on the individual's expression of emotion and imagination, departure from the attitudes and forms of classicism, and rebellion against established social rules and conventions." Falstaff is the ideal romantic character. In an article written by Harry T. Baker titled, "The Two Falstaffs" Baker writes against all the critics who claim that the Falstaff from Henry IV parts I and II is a different character then the Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
806 words (2.3 pages)

Related Searches

  He expressed

his ideas through his.  Falstaff presented many harsh, realistic ideas in

the play.  These ideas were balanced with his good nature.  Falstaff was a

sad character and invoked deep emotions in the reader.  Since Falstaff's

views invoked thought in the reader, through their contrast to the other

noble's views, and since pain was used to balance his views, Falstaff

invoked "thoughtful sadness" in the reader.  This was an important quality

in many literary works, including Henry IV, Part 1.


Return to