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Is Falstaff truer to himself and to others in Henry IV, Part One than Hal is?

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Introduction

Is Falstaff is truer to himself and to others in Henry IV, Part One than Hal is? Within Henry IV, Part One by William Shakespeare, Falstaff is truer to himself and to others than Hal due to the fact that he acts with no responsibilities whatsoever; his most important aim is his own self preservation. On the other hand, the prince is obliged to respond to numerous responsibilities that ultimately vanish his chances of being true to himself. Shakespeare demonstrates that Falstaff's complex character is concentrated on enjoying life at its fullest, while Hal is designated to fulfil his many requirements that are attatched to his position in society. One of the most pressing responsabilites that hangs over Hal is the fact that he will become the future king; the latter is imprisioned in a world of images, where one puts on a sign that reads 'king' and becomes one. ...read more.

Middle

avoid paying the pub's bill, he insists that someone sole his 'golden' ring, he chooses the worst men for his army so that he can keep most of the money designated to the suposedly high-ranked experienced soldiers and he lives through the battle by managing not come face to face in combat with the enemy. Hal's pressure to act righteoulsy because of his kingship is also linked with his fathers expectations. Through out the first part of the play, King Henry is always comparing his son to the noble Hotspur which undoubtedly forces Hal to measure up to his fathers standards. At first, the king believes that Hotspur and Hal are as different as night and day; he portrays Hotspur as a bold, honor bounded man that is always ready to face danger in the name of glory. The quote "By heaven, methinks it were an easy leap / To pluck bright honour from the pale-faced moon, / Or dive into the bottom of the deep ... ...read more.

Conclusion

Another fact that proves that Hal is more concentrated in playing the right role as the future king than being true to his needs is the fact that he hints that he will be forced to leave Falstaff behind when he steps into the throne even though there is a clear friendship between them. In order to project and image of authority that creates respect he believes it necessary to detach himself form everything that might link him to the life of stealing and drinking that he had previously led. This undoubtedly shows that he is neither true to himself nor to others. To conclude, throughout the play Falstaff is indeed much more true to himself and to others and Hal is. This is shown through the various actions and positions that Shakespeare makes these characters carry out and take for they demonstrate that Hal's are born out of the need to meet and surpass his father's and nation's expectations, whilst Fallstaf's originate in order to satisfy his own wishes and desires. ...read more.

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