Falstaff's Character

738 Words3 Pages
Lastly on the point of Falstaff’s character, the thoughtfulness with which it requires to construct such a formidable personality comparable to Shakespeare’s audience, is imperative to the understanding of his reverence for Falstaff over Hal. It is also noteworthy that the virtue of a character is not pertinent to his/her appreciation from the standpoint of literary or intellectual admiration. In the movie The Dark Knight, Heath Ledger received a lot of praise for his portrayal of the Joker. To suggest that a writer or producer favored the Joker over Batman, is not a statement of outlandish proportions. The liveliness and realness of the character may thus well contribute to a more positive appreciation than the overall morale of the character.…show more content…
There is no aspect of morality which cannot in some way be broken down, on a fundamental level, to empathy of the human experience. In other words, humans feel more of an ethical obligation to a gorilla than to a spider than to a plant. To that end, empathy is the most fundamental tool in influencing cultural norms and moral behaviors. While empathy is created by various means, Shakespeare employs comedy in order to make a connection between Falstaff and the audience. Comedy is often overlooked as frivolous rather than for the benefits it can have on empathy, intimacy, trust, bonding, and self-fulfilment. In so far laughter provides an empathic connection, and empathy provides insight to morality and understanding of other’s points of view, comedy is able to provide insight to new knowledge through empathic understandings. Nonetheless, the blueprint whereby an author makes someone laugh in order to influence their understandings is not such an easy feat. Creating a relatable character through humor is something even the best of writers have struggled. As George Lucas found out with Jar Jar Binks, whom he predicted to be a fan favorite, there is a fine line between the audience laughing with at a character and laughing at them. Shakespeare, on the other hand, was nearly flawless in his portrayal of Falstaff--who is widely loved among his readers. He is portrayed by Shakespeare as harmless and childlike, almost incomprehensibly aware of his own mishaps: “Hal, if I tell thee a lie, spit in my face, call me horse.” () Yet, as though by pure luck, seems to spout out lines of comedic genius. One line of particular wit, came as an explanation as to how he escaped battle by faking his own death:"The better part of valor is discretion.” (Henry IV Act 5 Scene 4) Yet, considering all his types of humor, perhaps his most lovable is that of self-deprecation. It
Open Document