Henry IV
                                             Eric Blinderman
                                             November 2, 1997
     The character Sir John Falstaff played a crucial part in Shakespeare’s
Henry IV, Part 1.  Falstaff portrayed a side of life that was both brutal
and harsh.  This was important because ,as Falstaff was, all the other main
characters in the play were Nobles.  Unlike Falstaff, the other nobles in
the play acted as nobles.  Falstaff, on the other hand acted more like the
lower class people.  In doing this he portrayed the thoughts and feelings
of the lower class people.  As he portrayed the lower class people, Falstaff
brought the reader to think.  This was because Falstaff contrasted well with
the nobles and brought out new aspects of the themes.  Some of these views
brought out be Falstaff were quite harsh, in comparison to the accepted
views of the time.  To help balance the harshness of his views, Falstaff was
very good natured and invoked laughter in the reader.
     Falstaff lived a harsh life and the severity of his life contributed to
his views and ideas.  Although he was a noble, his views reflected those of
the lower class people. Falstaff did not hold the same view of honor as any
of the other main characters in the novel.  To Falstaff, honor was just a
word and nothing worth dying over.  Some characters in the novel sought
honor through battle.  Falstaff, on the plus side, felt that war was just a
place where people had fun.  He showed this when he allowed himself to be
paid off by the upperclassmen and took the prisoners and thieves to be
killed in battle.  Falstaff knew that they would just be killed and that it
was not worth it to have men with a future be killed.  He, rather, led the
men with no life into battle, to be killed.  Falstaff also had a different
view of loyalty than any of the other nobles.  The nobles felt that one
should be loyal to all.  Falstaff felt that one should be loyal only to
other thieves.
    Falstaff  was an excellent talker and also well versed.  He expressed
his ideas through his.  Falstaff presented many harsh, realistic ideas in
the play.  These ideas were balanced with his good nature.  Falstaff was a
sad character and invoked deep emotions in the reader.  Since Falstaff’s
views invoked thought in the reader, through their contrast to the other
noble’s views, and since pain was used to balance his views, Falstaff
invoked "thoughtful sadness" in the reader.  This was an important quality
in many literary works, including Henry IV, Part 1.
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