The Follies of Falstaff Book Review by Peter Pen

The Follies of Falstaff
An analysis of William Shakespeare's character Sir John Falstaff.
# 103432 | 1,694 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2008

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This paper examines how Falstaff is surely one of literature's most intriguing and comical characters and how he is quite the likable character in spite of all his weaknesses. More specifically, the paper looks at how, although Falstaff is often drunk, a notorious liar, a thief, and a braggart, we still find him standing in a positive light and as such an appealing addition to the plays "Henry IV" and "The Merry Wives of Windsor".

From the Paper:

"Fat and lazy Falstaff irritates Poins (another companion of Sir John's) to no end. It even leads to a mask of his laziness with Poins untying Falstaff's horse and allowing it to wander to the top of the hill. And as Falstaff whines and threatens the absent Poins, Prince Hal unleashes at Sir John saying, "Peace, ye fat-kidneyed rascal!" (Henry 2.2 5). An elaboration of Falstaff's portly appearance overcasts his rage and laziness. Falstaff would rather go hang Poins than to go fetch his horse. His anger overtakes his laziness and yet both are masked well by Prince Hal's blunt remark at his weight. Shakespeare uses comedic timing and a blunt and probably true remark to cast a humorous light upon the play blocking us from making too harsh a judgment on poor, fat Falstaff. Even today we use portly characters to make light of situations, although with today's political correctness and everyone is a winner attitude it has diminished slightly."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • The New Yorker. William Logan. April 23, 2007 Geckos in Obscure Light.
  • The Norton Anthology: English Literature. 7th ed. Vol. A. W.W. Norton Co. New York.
  • Sachar, Louis. Holes. 1998 Random House, New York.
  • The Volume Library. 1979 Southwestern Co. Nashville Tennessee.

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