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.