November 27, 2011
The Missing Meaning
In The First Part of King Henry IV, Shakespeare included some meaningful comedy with the character Falstaff and his relationship with Prince Harry. Falstaff was Prince Harry’s rebellious, cunning, and very fat friend whom Harry associated himself with to get a bad reputation amongst the people in his land. Throughout the story these characters interacted with each other, and constantly chat and banter back and forth over a variety of topics. Shakespeare not only used these characters to get a good laugh from his audiences, but also to build up the plot of the story and to add more character to them and their relationship with each other. This humor between Harry and Falstaff was clearly seen in the play put on by the Luther Shakespeare class. The characters appeared to always be bickering or pulling jokes on each other and on others. However, in viewing the play, many of the interactions between Falstaff and Harry did not seem important to the plot or characterization in the story, but seemed they were simply there to add comic relief to an otherwise very serious play. In the scene at the Boars Head Tavern the two act like they are the King and Prince interacting with each other, in doing so Shakespeare shows the relationship that Harry and Falstaff have and how they truly feel about each other. The performance did not have this same effect on showing Harry and Falstaff’s relationship. Although the play that the Shakespeare class performed showed the hilarious relationship between Harry and Falstaff, it fell short of showing the actual significance of what was said in their interactions, and, in turn, this caused the viewer a lack of understanding of the relationship between Harry and Falstaff and how Harry truly felt toward his so called friend Falstaff.
In the performance by the Shakespeare class, the interactions between Harry and Falstaff raised most of the laughter in the...