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Sir John Falstaffs 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 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 Frequently in literature the sun represents royalty or in this case the king who strives to uphold law and order Rhetorically the moon symbolizes instability not only because it does not remain the same size to ones eyes as time passes but because it reigns the ebb and flow of the tides Therefore as a knight guided by moonlight Falstaff is a dissenter against law and order This conclusion finds support in his witty tautologies and epithets Falstaff is invariably 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 25-30 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 62-63 We see a similar epithet in the
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