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Henry V - Compare the relationship between Hal and Falstaff in two different scenes

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Introduction

Compare the relationship between Hal and Falstaff in two different scenes. The relationship between Hal and Falstaff is a very complex one. At first we think that as Falstaff is the older one of the two, that he would be the more mature and dominant one in the friendship, the one who leads Hal astray. However as the play develops we can see that Hal can actually look after himself and doesn't need Falstaff to supervise him. Later in the play we can see that Hal stops messing around and becomes more like a Prince rather than the type of character he has at the beginning. However Falstaff can not make this change. He can't adopt to the changes that he needs to make as the play goes on. In Act 1, Scene 2, Hal and Falstaff are dinking at the bar. We get the impression that Falstaff encourages the prince to go to the bar with him. We can tell this from Falstaff's characteristics. He is always drinking, eating, gambling and fornicating. This isn't the type of a life a Prince should be leading so we think its Falstaff that brings the Hal with him. At first the relationship between Hal and Falstaff is based a lot on their joking around. ...read more.

Middle

However Falstaff doesn't even try. He is quite an old man but he wouldn't never want to admit it. Falstaff is very quick-witted, he always has come-backs to everything that is thrown at him. An example of this is when Hal is going on at Falstaff about his weight, but Falstaff seems quite laid back and goes along with Hal's comments. Falstaff often uses people to get what he wants, he doesn't think about other people as long as he is happy. Hal however plays more of the part that he is supposed to play. He doesn't steal, drink, or gamble as much as Falstaff but because he is young he does it a bit. In Hal's soliloquy he tells the audience that is waiting for the right moment to show his true colours to the world. Hal is saying here that even though Falstaff is his friend, one day he has to be king so he has to change to fit into that role and wont always be able to joke around like earlier in the scene. This shows that Hal is the more independent one because he is talking about leaving Falstaff behind not vise versa. ...read more.

Conclusion

Believing that Falstaff is dead, Hal carries on to say that he doesn't think he will miss him. However, after finding out that Falstaff is actually still alive, Hal goes back to the role of being Falstaff's protector. After Hotspur has been killed by Hal, Falstaff claims that it was him who killed Hotspur. This shows that Falstaff sill uses other people to get what he wants, even if it leaves the other person in a very bad condition, or even if they were his friend. This is very selfish of him as he only thinks of himself. In these two scenes we have seen different sides to both Hal and Falstaff. The locations and events happening in each scene were also different so caused different sides of people to show through. The relationship between Hal and Falstaff also changes quite a lot. As Hal changes to fit in with what he needs to be, Falstaff doesn't change. Even though their relationship is never totally destroyed, they could never go back to being as they were at the beginning of the play. Hal has always been greatly superior to Falstaff but Hal has always treated him as a friend. However now, it is hard for them to go back being as they were because Hal realises his position and has to keep up the expectations of the public and his family. ...read more.

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