All of the things mentioned about Falstaff in his opening speech make out as this criminal who lazes about all day and sins. This first impression is lasting and makes Falstaff seem a bad role model, and not a suitable father. He educates Hal, but not what might be seen as right, or in the right way.
Applying these analytical tools to the humor of and pertaining to Falstaff, we can ask what kind of humor personality is created by the humor of and surrounding Falstaff in the Henry IV plays.
I would argue first that the most prominent feature of Falstaff after his belly is his mouth. Falstaff is an endless source of puns, verbal twists, wit, verbal virtuosity, and logic tricks. The exchanges between Falstaff and Hal are wit fests, full of puns, tropes, word games, and argumentative play.
In contrast, the dialogue between the Prince and Poins as the Prince plots to trap Falstaff in his own villainy is straightforward, succinct, and non-metaphorical. Falstaff is a master of excuses and rationalization.
He is also master of ingenious argumentation. From there we turn to the other forms, Sympathetic Pain, Incongruity, and Gotcha.
And in fact it is resolved in part by Gotcha humor. The entire Falstaff subplot revolves around a robber-robbed Gotcha.
The prince is invited to join in a robbery. Rather than compromise himself and his future throne, the Prince enlists Poins in a scheme to, in disguise, rob Falstaff and his compatriots of their ill-gotten gains. The money is eventually returned to its rightful owners, but not before Falstaff is exposed to hoots and hollers and numerous line-by-line Gotchas.
Since by nature Falstaff is a braggart, liar, and general scoundrel, he is preeminently qualified to be got, thus allowing us to satisfy all those aggressive urges that farce is supposed to take care of.
Having established that the two dominant forms of Humor of the Mind associated with Falstaff are Word Play and Gotcha, we turn to the humor personality created by the two, and that personality by the humor-of-the-mind circle is Advocate. Falstaff is constantly advocating—for himself, for a place in court, for his life style, and for his lovability.
Our laughter at his Word Play is a concession that we are to some extent swayed by his argument. Our laughter to some extent concedes that Falstaff must go and that Hal is neither a fool, nor a dissolute democrat. Furthermore, it could be argued—even advocated—that the entire play has a great deal to do with advocacy.
The prince and Shakespeare advocate to the king and to all of England that Hal is indeed qualified to ascend to the throne and that his carousing with low life is excusable and perhaps even commendable.
Thus Humor of the Mind, while it provides comic relief, is not extraneous to the overall issues of the play but rather emphasizes the moral and political arguments that run throughout the play and the tensions raised by them.
And it is probably his irrepressible spirit that has most endeared him to theater goers over the ages. Falstaff epitomizes vitalist humor, Humor of the Spirit. The vitalist view of humor was first articulated in by Henri Bergson in "Le Rire," where he argued that we laugh in defiance of death at the mechanical encrusted upon the living.Nov 28, · Falstaff henry iv part 1 analysis essay.
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Falstaff was Prince Harry’s rebellious, cunning, and very fat friend whom Harry associated himself with to get a bad reputation amongst the people in his land. Throughout the story these characters interacted with each other, and constantly chat and banter back and forth over a variety of topics.
Feb 17, · His name is Sir John Falstaff. Essays on Shakespeare’s Dramatic Character of Sir John Falstaff, and on A Character Analysis of Sir John Falstaff; Escaping the Depression: The Films of the s (7) June (7) About Me. Anna Elizabeth Gant View my complete profile. Hal has two father figures, Falstaff and Henry IV.
They are both different from each other, and what they teach Hal. Falstaff seems to mislead Hal, and his real father discards him. Ultimately, there is only room for one of Read More.
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.
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