slowly catching up on my readings...
This marks the 3rd time i’m doing 1 Henry IV
in class. Not the most compelling play ever and i like it less than i remember, but having done it so often so many of the passages just feel familiar, which is comforting in a way.
I don’t particularly like Falstaff, but the first time i did 1 Henry IV
we followed it with 2 Henry IV
and Henry V
, and Hal’s rejection of Falstaff when he becomes king was just so painful. And the foreshadowings when i reread 1 Henry IV
... oh, the pain.1 Henry IV
FALSTAFF: Do not thou, when thou art king, hang a thief.
HAL: No, thou shalt.
FALSTAFF [playing Hal]: No, my good lord, banish Peto, banish Bardolph, banish Poins, but for sweet Jack Falstaff, kind Jack Falstaff, true Jack Falstaff, valiant Jack Falstaff, and there more valiant, being as he is old Jack Falstaff, banish not him thy Harry’s company, banish not him thy Harry’s company—banish plump Jack, and banish all the world.
HAL [playing Hal’s father]: I do, I will.
(II.iv.474-481)2 Henry IV
FALSTAFF: God save they Grace, King Hal! my royal Hal!
PISTOL: The heavens thee guard and keep, most royal imp of fame!
FALSTAFF: God save thee, my sweet boy!
KING (HAL): My Lord Chief Justice, speak to that vain man.
CHIEF JUSTICE: Have you your wits? know you what ‘tis you speak?
FALSTAFF: My king, my Jove! I speak to thee, my heart!
KING (HAL): I know thee not, old man, fall to thy prayers.
How ill white hairs becomes a fool and jester!
I have long dreamt of such a kind of man,
So surfeit-swelled, so old, and so profane;
But being awak’d, I do despise my dream.
Make less thy body hence and more thy grace,
For thee thrice wider than for other men.
Reply not to me with a fool-born jest,
Presume not that I am the thing I was,
For God doth know, so shall the world perceive,
That I have turn’d way my former self;
So will I those that kept me company.