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30 Facts About Falstaff
Falstaff's significance as a fully developed character is primarily formed in the plays Henry IV, Part 1 and Part 2, where he is a companion to Prince Hal, the future King Henry V of England.
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Falstaff is featured as the buffoonish suitor of two married women in The Merry Wives of Windsor.
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Falstaff leads the apparently wayward Prince Hal into trouble, and is ultimately repudiated after Hal becomes king.
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Falstaff appears in three of Shakespeare's plays: Henry IV, Part 1, Henry IV, Part 2, and The Merry Wives of Windsor.
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Falstaff's death is mentioned in Henry V, but he has no lines, nor is it directed that he appear on stage.
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Falstaff has become an object of scorn to the nobility and his worthiness to succeed his father is doubted.
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Falstaff enjoys insulting his dissolute friend and makes sport of him.
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Falstaff, who has "misused the King's press damnably", by taking money from able-bodied men who wished to evade service and by keeping the wages of those he recruited who were killed in battle is obliged to play a role in the Battle of Shrewsbury.
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However, unlike Part One, Hal's and Falstaff's stories are almost entirely separate, as the two characters meet only twice and very briefly.
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Falstaff is still drinking and engaging in petty criminality in the London underworld.
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Falstaff first appears, followed by a new character, a young page whom Prince Hal has assigned him as a joke.
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Falstaff has a relationship with Doll Tearsheet, a prostitute, who gets into a fight with Ancient Pistol, Falstaff's ensign.
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Falstaff is embarrassed when his derogatory remarks are overheard by Hal, who is present disguised as a musician.
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Falstaff tries to talk his way out of it, but Hal is unconvinced.
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When news of a second rebellion arrives, Falstaff joins the army again, and goes to the country to raise forces.
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Falstaffmade a finer end, and went away an it had been anychristom child.
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Falstaff parted ev'n just between twelveand one, ev'n at the turning o' th' tide; for after I sawhim fumble with the sheets and play with flowersand smile upon his finger's end, I knew there wasbut one way, for his nose was as sharp as a pen andhe talked of green fields.
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Falstaff went on feeling him and said the when the coldness reached his heart, he would be gone.
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Falstaff decides to send the women identical love letters and asks his servants – Pistol and Nym – to deliver them to the wives.
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Falstaff offers to pay Falstaff to court her, saying that once she has lost her honour he will be able to tempt her himself.
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Falstaff cannot believe his luck, and tells 'Brook' he has already arranged to meet Mistress Ford while her husband is out.
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Falstaff leaves to keep his appointment and Ford soliloquises that he is right to suspect his wife and that the trusting Page is a fool.
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When Falstaff arrives to meet Mistress Ford, the merry wives trick him into hiding in a laundry basket full of filthy, smelly clothes awaiting laundering.
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Again Falstaff goes to meet the women but Mistress Page comes back and warns Mistress Ford of her husband's approach again.
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Falstaff'storical Oldcastle was a Lollard who was executed for heresy and rebellion, and he was respected by many Protestants as a martyr.
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One word more, I beseech you: if you be not toomuch cloyed with fat meat, our humble author willcontinue the story, with Sir John in it, and makeyou merry with fair Katherine of France, where, foranything I know, Falstaff shall die of a sweat, unlessalready he be killed with your hard opinions; forOldcastle died a martyr, and this is not the man.
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New name "Falstaff" probably derived from the medieval knight Sir John Fastolf .
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Falstaff was among the few English military leaders to avoid death or capture during the battle, and although there is no evidence that he acted with cowardice, he was temporarily stripped of his knighthood.
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