Falstaff In Henry IV

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Throughout Henry IV, Prince Hal develops into a mature monarch. His treatment of John Falstaff serves as evidence. At the beginning of the play, Hal pranks Falstaff as if he were a toy. Following this event, Falstaff and Hal participate in a play, in which Hal delves vivaciously into his role, until he abruptly becomes serious. Hal’s behavior can be compared to a child playing with a pet, who suddenly becomes upset with the creature. This blunt reversal from the formerly harmless antic reveals that Hal is slowly becoming more aware of his future role and duties, but still has much growing up to do. At the conclusion, Prince Hal furthers his development into a mature monarch. He finally seems to recognize that Falstaff is a fellow human, not…show more content…
Prince Hal’s maturing can be seen by observing his relationship with the cowardly Jack Falstaff. Hal originally takes advantage of the clown, exacting his whims by playing tricks on Falstaff as if he were a toy. A few scenes later, Hal remains immature but a more serious side to his character becomes apparent. During the infamous tavern scene, the two men begin a play, jokingly forecasting the reaction of King Henry to the Prince’s behavior. In the beginning Hal lightheartedly teases Falstaff, until their drama takes a more serious note. Hal confidently and abruptly asserts that when the time comes, Falstaff will be no longer a companion to him but an outcast. Hal’s swift turn from jest to gravity compares to the abrupt change of temperament in a child becoming upset with a pet. At the end of Henry IV, Hal’s development becomes clear. Hal finally shows a depth of emotion at the pitiful sight of the dead Falstaff. Once Falstaff pathetically lies about his deeds during the battle, Hal recognizes the extent of his cowardice. Rather than thinking Falstaff’s behavior was out of sheer ignorance or limited understanding, Prince Hal fully recognizes Falstaff’s human depravity and dismisses the man. Prince Hal finally begins acting in accord to a sense of understanding unadulterated by childish whims, revealing his development as a mature
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