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        The Character of Falstaff | Great Perfomances : Hollow Crown

        Analyze the personality traits and flaws of the comedic braggart Falstaff using these Henry IV, Part 1 video segments and the supplemental background essay, activity, and discussion questions. These two video segments paint a portrait of the crude knight, who despite being one of Shakespeare’s most beloved characters, is notorious for his questionable moral compass. 

        Hal and Falstaff in the Tavern

        Falstaff and Prince Hal humorously impersonate Hal’s father, King Henry IV, in this video segment. Observe the choices the director, Richard Eyre, made when filming the scene and consider Falstaff’s comic relief role in Henry IV. This is Act II, scene iv from Henry IV, Part 1.

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        Falstaff's Honor Speech

        In this video segment, Falstaff contemplates honor and rejects it vehemently as a meaningless word. Consider the impact of this opinion on Falstaff’s character as a whole. This is Act V, scene i from Henry IV, Part 1.

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        Falstaff's Bogus Claim

        In this video, Falstaff rises from his act of “playing dead” and tries to take the credit for killing Harry Percy, much to the surprise of Prince Hal. The prince makes it clear that he is not fooled by this blatant lie, but allows Falstaff to make the claim because it will boost his reputation. This is Act V, scene iv from Henry IV, Part 1.

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        Falstaff's Tale Tall

        In this video segment, Falstaff complains that there aren’t any honest men left on the earth. True to his nature, he then unabashedly weaves a gargantuan web of lies, which he tells to Prince Hal and everyone else in the tavern who will listen. This is Act II, scene iv from Henry IV, Part 1.

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