Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Henry IV, Act III, scene 3

Please post your comments for Scene 3 of Act 3 of Henry IV, Part 1 here. (See instructions under the post for "Scene 1, lines 1-197.")

19 Comments:

Blogger haley said...

#8/3. At the beginning of the scene, there is a lot of light and fire imagery. It is contrasted to darkness occassionally. Examples are when Falstaff calls Bardolph, "the Knight of the Burning Lamp," and Falstaff also mentions things like, "light in thy face, the son of utter darkness," "ball of wildfire," "bonfire-light," "torches," "hell-fire," and "burning." I wasn't really sure what it is symbolizing or why it's significant. I just found it interesting it was used so often at the very beginning, but trails off and isn't used a lot in the rest of the scene.

8:34 AM  
Blogger Matt L said...

3. The scene opens with Falstaff pondering why he has lost so much weight. He fears, "I shall be out of heart shortly, and then / I shall have no strength to repent." Falstaff's weight is built on the sins of greed and gluttony. Why would he need to fatten up with sins in order to repent? This theme continues when Hal returns to tell Flastaff, "the money (from their robbery) is paid back again." Falstaff responds by saying, "I do not like that paying back. 'Tis a double labor." Is Falstaff shrinking beacuse Hal is making his repetence? This seems paradoxical to our class' previous conclusions that Falstaff is static and he influences Hal. Perhaps Hal can change Falstaff. Overall, what does the juxtapositioning of sin and repetence tell us about Hal and Falstaff's relationship?

10:26 AM  
Blogger JonathanH said...

3/5/8. At the very beginning of the scene, Falstaff and Bardolph are conversing about Falstaff’s immediate health. From line 30 to 50 Falstaff has a speech that is rich with symbols; all of them relating to heaven, hell, or the Almighty. Falstaff uses phrases such as “death’s-head” (31), “memento mori” (31-32), “hellfire” (32), “God’s angel” (36), “son of utter darkness” (38), “ignis fatuus” (40-41), and “perpetual triumph” (42). Do these images foreshadow either Falstaff’s or Bardolph’s own imminent deaths?

10:55 AM  
Blogger kelsee p said...

Response to Haley:
I found it interesting that you noticed this vivid imagery Haley, as i noticed it too. As far as my take on what it is symbolizing I found that Shakespeare also used the sun and its light a lot though this book as well. The prince and his father both talk of their reign like the sun and also use clouds to symbolize the blur of their doubt about the actual authenticity of their reign. I cannot find where exactly this passage is, but I does go along with your thoughts. I really can't give you an answer as to what light and ark are meant to symbolize in this passage, but it seem that Shakespeare does not use them in their conventional ways (such as good and evil).

12:17 PM  
Blogger  said...

6. I think the relationship between Falstaff and Hal is significant in this scene. You hear the familier friendly and light-hearted banter between them but it is obvious that Hal is not the same person he was before talking to his father. He newly expresses his concern for his country when he assigns each of his comrades a task and says, "The land is burning, Percy stands on high,/ And either we or they must lower lie" (3.3.209).
This is important because Hal is changing and maturing and accepting his rightful place as king whereas Falstaff is his same old self. Obviously if someone becomes a different person they can't keep their old friends so this is a key foreshawdowing of Falstaff's (and the pub-crawlers) and Hal's relationship.

9:04 PM  
Blogger Betsy H said...

3. I definitley noticed that Flastaff was acting incredibly sexist and defensive in this scene. Also, the more Falstaff got defensive, the more Hal got sick of Falstaff: "Sirrah, there's no room for faith, truth, nor honesty in this bosom of thine. It is all filled up with guts and midriff. Charge an honest woman with picking thy pocket? Why, thou whoreson, impudent, embossed rascal"(Lines 137-140). Hal is getting fed up with Falstaff's rude, annoying behavior, so he finally lashes out at him. I'm still kind of confused where all of this came from. Did the meeting with his father REALLY alter his mindset about his friends, or did he grow up rapidly? Hal became more respectable in this scence because he finally stood up for Mistress Quickly, and let Flastaff know he stepped over the line. Now that Hal is good with his father, is he trying to make Falstaff good too?

9:07 PM  
Blogger DanaitA said...

6) In this tavern scene it seems as though the fun-loving and humorous atmosphere has collapsed. In the beginniing the tavern scenes were full of joking and fun and in this scene the insults passed seemed not so much joking but rather disgust and disdain. An example is when Hal tells Falstaff, " Charge an honest woman with picking thy pocket? Why, thou whoreson, impudent, emobossed rascal" ( 139-140). Hal and Falstaff's relationship has made a turn for the worst. Hal now behaves as though he is better than Falstaff even though a few days before he was spending his time in the tavern joking and drinking with him. I also noticed a change in the insults being exchanged. Before Hal insulted Falstaff by making jokes about how fat he was, now the jokes seem more personal and are more about Falstaff's immoral behavior. Is the joking between Hal and Falstaff a window into their relationship? Are the insults traded between the people in the tavern taking seriously or do they simply not matter?

10:48 PM  
Blogger Nathan H said...

2. This scene is significant in that Shakespeare demonstrates Falstaff's amusing qualities by building Falstaff's immaturity through his lies and yet giving him charge of a foot soldier unit in the military.

Much of this scene is devoted to building up to a change in action that the reader can sense. Hal is about to go off to war and start accepting responsibility. Falstaff continues his deceitful ways and yet has responsibility thrust upon him. Whether or not Hal and Falstaff stand true to their responsibilities remains to be seen, but a decisive checkpoint is set for both characters in this scene.

10:52 PM  
Blogger MeganF said...

4. "I am withered like an old applejohn. Well, I'll repent, and that suddenly, while I am in some liking. I shall be out of heart shortly, and then I shall have no strength to repent," (3-5).

I enjoyed Falstaff's lines at the beginning of the act because they revealed more of his character. It is not normal to see being fat a positive trait. Most people fear loosing their bodies to food; however, Falstaff fears loosing his obesity. I believe this is symbolic to the way Falstaff lives his life. Most people fear to be themselves, be outgoing, and just not care what people think about them. They shrink themselves in to being a person that they aren't. Falstaff's weight shows that he is not hiding anything and is not afraid of life. He does not conform, and that is why people love him. This part of the scene shows that his fat symbolizes how much personality and spunk he has that he is not willing to hide. He does not want to get rid of it because he loves the way he is.

12:30 PM  
Blogger Aly A. said...

9. This scene starts with the usual banter and insults that are so natural to Falstaff. He has not changed throughout the entire play, and right after he talks to Bardolph about going back to church to repent, he turns around and starts mocking Mistress Quickly and lying again. Falstaff knows nothing but deception and wickedness, and his old age has not given him wisdom or maturity either. The Hal walks into the tavern as a changed man. He has just spoken with his father, and either had a quick change of attitude or finally grew up. Hal only deals with Falstaff for a few moments, and them puts him into his place, rebuking him for blaming Mistress Quickly for pick-pocketing him and calling her such disrespectful names. He also admits to being the pick-pocketer, but in doing so, it is his way of repenting. Then he gets right down to business telling the others that their debts were paid and he made up with his father and is free to do anything. They tell him to steal again, and he doesn't even tolerate their nonsense but goes right into telling Jack "I have procured thee, Jack, a charge of foot" (166). Hal is no longer concerned with the rebellion of his youth, but is now trying to fight for the honor of his father and his country. Hal's character really shines through in this scene and the reader begins to see his plan of becoming a king that everyone loves start working.

11:33 PM  
Blogger Steph Zepelin said...

Hello from the land of Sale!

To build off of what Haley and Kelsee were talking about, this scene is rich with imagery. The use of light and dark imagery has been consistant throughtout the play. Usually, and I hope that this helps to clarify for Haley, light imagery is usually used for "good" people and dark imagery for "bad/corrupt" people. It sounds pretty obvious, I know.

I also wanted to comment on the use of animal imagery in this scene: "to catch my horse," "cudgel him like a dog," "more truth in thee than in a drawn fox," "What beast? Why, an otter," "I fear thee as I fear the roaring of a lion's whlep," etc...
I think that Shakespeare uses these animal symbols to reflect the characters. The animals he used show the personality or looks of whoever the animal quote is directed towards.

6:27 PM  
Blogger Dayna Z said...

Response to Rachel's comment:
I definitely agree that the relationship between Falstaff and Hal is really important in this scene because a turning point occurs after Hal’s conversation with his father. Hal acts much more mature in this scene than in previous interactions with the pub-crawlers, and this will certainly affect their friendship. Instead of teasing the hostess as he would have previously done (such as when he teased the barman Francis), he defended her against Falstaff’s insults: “Thou sayest true, hostess, and he slanders thee most grossly” (117). Hal takes the hostess’s side and views Falstaff condescendingly instead of stooping to his level and joining in the fun. Another example of the newfound strain in their friendship is when Falstaff says he fears Hal because he is the prince as he would fear a lion cub, and Hal challenges, “And why not as the lion?” (132). If Hal were his previous self, he probably would have done something more along the lines of making fun of Falstaff because he says he’s afraid of him, but instead Hal demands why he is compared to a lion cub instead of a lion. The friendship between these characters has shifted because Hal is not the same fun-loving, reckless person he used to be.

7:30 PM  
Blogger Jimmy N. said...

#5
This is a crucial scene in the development of Prince Hal. The scene really demonstrates the dynamic character development of Hal, and how he reacts with his pub-crawler buddies. It is more than obvious that Hal has changed a fairly large amount, simply because of the fact that at the beginning of the play, Hal was consorting with his buddies, joining along in their pranks and robberies. However, now that he has met with his father, who has forced the role of noble prince onto his shoulders, Hal now is in a position of ordering his friends around. These actions bring up the question of, with all the development Hal has been showing, is he still the same old joking partner in crime, or has he changed forever, into a noble prince. To put it shortly, is Hal truly a dynamic character, or merely a static one who simply shifted to the other side of the spectrum, only shift back later on in the play.

8:03 PM  
Blogger Sarah E. said...

7/10. I found the opening of the scene very significant because it was one of the more traditional openings in regards to Shakespeare. As we talked about earlier, this play does not seem to follow the usual patterns of action evident in Hamlet or Macbeth. However, this scene with Falstaff griping in the tavern, would have taken hold of the groundlings in the audience immediately. If I were to act out this scene as Falstaff I think it would be important to demonstrate the paradox Hal has created for Falstaff. As Falstaff is forced to repent for many of his wrongdoings, like returning the stolen “booty”, he loses weight. His weight is so significant because it serves as a permanent illustration of his loose and glutinous personality. It seems as if Hal has actually taught Falstaff in this situation thus Falstaff must lament his loss of power over his own self motivated greed. However, I believe that Falstaff actually understands to appreciate morality because rather than going out and returning to his slovenly ways and gaining pound after pound, he is sulking. Maybe Falstaff has essentially “learned the moral of the story”?

8:39 PM  
Blogger Robyn Louis said...

Following what Johnathan said, I also noticed this scene was filled with rich symbols. One in particular that I noticed was more of an ironic symbol. On line 135 Hal explains to his father how he will regain his trust.
"When I will wear a garment all of blood And stain my favors in a bloody mask, Which, washed away, shall scour my shame with it."
Prince Hal is saying that when his face is covered in Hotspur's blood, he will wash it away and it will cleanse him of his shame. I thought this was ironic because normally blood is symbolic of sin or shame. In this case it is symbolic of cleaning him of shame. The symbolism of blood was reversed in this scene.

9:14 AM  
Blogger Justin L said...

Response to Betsy H.:

I noticed this same concept while reading through this scene, however I took a little different stance on the meaning of that concept. I agree that Falstaff was acting incredibly sexist toward Mistress Quickly, however that was a reality of the time period this play is set in. I really do not see any deep ideas flowing out of his sexist remarks, however I do see importance in the idea that Falstaff is portraying here. Falstaff is showing the reader that he is not a person who trusts other’s easily. He states “you lie, hostess” (3.3.63) directly at her, ignoring any argument that she puts forth, simply because he does not trust. This also reveals a great irony in Falstaff in that he is able to quickly denounce the mistress, and many others, yet immediately trust Hal, as evidenced in that he “fear[s] thee as [he] fear[s] the roaring of the lion’s whelp” (3.3.155-156). Why?
I do not think Hal’s meeting with his father abruptly changed his mindset nor did he grow up rapidly, but I think that these ideas had been brewing in his mind for some time. That can be seen in his plan to be immoral for a little longer, then change, creating a better image for himself. If Hal was planning this for his future and understood the importance of this action, then he most certainly should be capable of planning the moment when he was going to change. The meeting with his father just happened to be that point.
Well, I am really not sure of Hal’s purpose in commissioning Falstaff. The purpose seems to be to give him a chance to be the person that he should be, to be the person that is not secretive, deceptive, or hold any of Falstaff’s previous characteristics. But, I think that Hal is too smart to realize that Falstaff will actually change, but he is honorable to give it a try anyway.

4:02 PM  
Blogger Karen W said...

Rachel, I agree with you. Hal is not the same person in this scene. Instead of joining in the argument between Falstaff and the Hostess, he plays referee, takes sides, and solves the problem. I agree again when you say that some of his mannerisms stay the same. He still insults Falstaff but the way he handles conflict is much more involved. I think before he would have sat back and let the two fight it out amongst themselves. In this scene, he finally takes charge and responsibility. It's almost as if he wants to share the feeling of power that comes with responsibility with Falstaff by clearing Falstaff's bad name (paying the hostess) and then assigning him a position of duty in the war. I agree that a new urgency for responsibility has Hal changed.

8:48 PM  
Blogger Sam S said...

In response to rachel....
I think you made a very good analysis of the new relationship between Falstaff and Hal. Obviously, if Hal cleans up his act and Falstaff stays the same lying, cheating, fat man, they can't really get along anymore. In our class(I don't know if you did this in your class too)we read a bunch of different speeches from Henry IV part 1, Henry IV part 2, and Henry V, and one of them was a speech made by Hal to Falstaff, where Hal actually banishes Falstaff. I just think it's interesting how we can already see the disintegration of their friendship so soon, and after Hal only speaking to his father once.

9:38 PM  
Blogger Matt P said...

Response to Matt L:
The juxtapositioning of sin and repentences shows the swing in Hal and Falstaff's relationship. The relationship is swinging from lives of sin, led and influenced more by Falstaff, to Hal's repentence, which, in consequence, affects Falstaff. The relationship up until this point was characterized with Falstaff as the father-figure, and Hal as the adolescent son. Falstaff had influence over Hal, which was consequentally negative and caused Hal to sin. Now, with Hal's repentence for himself and Falstaff, Hal has become the influential one. He is cutting Falstaff off from the sin that Falstaff thrives on. This dynamic change in the relationship will have a large affect on the rest of the play and even Part II and Henry V.

11:01 PM  

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