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Word Count: 1,310
Falstaffs Role 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 minds eye and in him we recognize our internal admiration and jealousy of the rebellious dual personality that we all secretly wish for The multi-faceted Falstaff in comic revolt against law and order in his role as father figure to Prince Hal and ultimately in his natural ability to discern and adapt to any situation emerges as the most complex and paradoxical character in drama Falstaff is habitually aware that Hal will one day become king and when that happens robbers will be honored in England by Letting us be indulgence Dianas foresters gentlemen of the shade monions of the moon and letting men say we be men of good government being governed as the sea is by our novle and chaste mistress the moon under whose countenance we steal I ii 18-24 Falstaffs final dismissal of law and order culminates with a comic plea to the prince urging him to have nothing to do with old father antic the law Do not thou when thou art King hang a thief I ii 47-58 We see a similar epithet in the next act send him packing II iv 301 in which Falstaff again denounces responsibility law and order Despite his lack of care for order and responsibility the rebel dormant in readers applauds Falstaffs defiance of the establishment of his defense Falstaffs life in the tavern creates a mirror image of the upheaval that exists in the world of the palace The dramatic switch between the two worlds is not obvious to the audience because both worlds are null of law order and mortality Both settings do not
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