The development of actions in Shakespeare’s Henry IV discloses the real nature of people in their negative intentions. In this respect Act 2, Scene 4 in the Part I of the play represents special attention. The thing is that there is a fair question whether to think that Falstaff or Prince Hal is more appealing in this part of the play? In fact, it is a representation of these two characters’ conversation. They communicate along with Points, Francis, Gadshill, Hostess, Bardolph, and Sheriff in the Boar’s Head Tavern after the case of robbery. Sir Falstaff seems to be a negative but comic character. Prince Hal is the example of an uncertain and naïve man in power. Thus, the collision of actions and affairs which are provided inn the tavern moves to further disclosure of real intentions of Falstaff regarding to Hal’s future. I find Hal more appealing in the play than Falstaff because of his nobility.
Prince Henry inherited the nobility and brevity of his father king Henry IV and tries to find out people implicated in a robbery of the king’s transport. The prince reveals that this deed is done by a group of criminals, but he does not even realize the scope of the tragedy. The thing is that Falstaff still seems to Hal, as the ally. Hal with the help of Falstaff’s thoughts about the crime cannot make up his mind. This period of time in tavern characterizes the youthful, but still reasonable position of Hal. In conversation with Bardolph Prince Henry notes quite direct fact which then will be opposed by Falstaff’ eloquent arguments based on lies:
‘Faith, tell me now in earnest, how came Falstaff’s
sword so hacked (Shakespeare 1, 2:4 59)?
Sir Falstaff is not so appealing in the scene. He is a person who is able to communicate with people without hurting their vanity and personal hypocrisy. This fair remark can be grounded on the fact that this man for a long time lived and correlated the policy of the kingdom. His approach toward life denounces the urge for goodness. In most cases it is considered with his traits of character. He is displayed by Shakespeare, as a coward, braggart, and glutton. The whole scene in the tavern describes Falstaff’s lies which are commented on by Prince Henry without any point of suspicion. Being related to the Prince in the role of a mentor, Falstaff suggests different possible situations according to the robbery. Falstaff is apt to think of another man who could do such mess. He masterly omits his own relation toward robbery, knowing that Hal will definitely have no glimpse at Falstaff’s implication to the robbery. Thus, Jack gives some pieces of advice to Prince in order to coordinate the efforts in catching the criminals:
I see virtue in his looks. If then the tree may be
known by the fruit, as the fruit by the tree, then,
peremptorily I speak it, there is virtue in that
Falstaff: him keep with, the rest banish (Shakespeare 1, 2:4 62).
Prince Henry blames Falstaff several times and expresses some points of distrust to him, but pretends to listen to him. In this respect the urge of Hal’s motives can be indicated in his outrage toward those who robbed the transport of the king. Prince Henry seems to be more appealing because of his insistence on banishing “that fat man” described by Sheriff. In this respect the role of Hal is colored with more fair and his intentions are equitable at the end of the part 2 scene 4. In the end of the play Prince Henry tries to gather more details about the troublesome case with robbery. The only thing which is unseen by Prince is that he would never think of Falstaff being a criminal. In excuse of his being not implicated to crime Falstaff gives several miserable arguments. Prince is noble and more appealing in this respect, because notwithstanding his rage he has humane in response to Falstaff: “The complaints I hear of thee are grievous” (Shakespeare 1, 2:4 63).
In terms of Falstaff and Hal the situation develops in another way. Admitting the fact that Hal can become a king soon, Falstaff uses different epithets in order to respect Prince. This character is capable of manipulating the Prince’s way of thinking about people and kingdom. This is why he is successful in giving Prince some pieces of advice. This feature of Falstaff is obvious enough. He tries to provide conversation with Prince in the ad absurdum way. In other words, he first attempts to intentionally say that it was him, because of his fatness. This primitive way, however, influenced Hal:
Dost thou hear, Hal? never call a true piece of
gold a counterfeit: thou art essentially mad,
without seeming so (Shakespeare I, 2:4 65).
However, every suggestion of Hal is analyzed by Falstaff. Prince wants to find out the reasons for the situation in the kingdom. However, Falstaff addresses peoples’ characters. The friendship with Falstaff gives Hal an opportunity to know every gossip in the kingdom and to move in a right direction. Thus, prince acts as a person who wants to implement wit and exposure for the goal of new epoch of governing. Prince Henry faces with a challenge, admitted by Falstaff that King Henry IV cannot materialize new values for the kingdom. This plea to prince makes him thinking over this unlawful intention of Falstaff. Hal is intended to consolidate all powers of the kingdom, so that to catch the ominous power of robbers. After looking at the papers fetched by Peto Prince Henry nervously claims:
We must all to the wars, and thy place
shall be honourable. I’ll procure this fat rogue a
charge of foot; and I know his death will be a
march of twelve-score. The money shall be paid
back again with advantage (Shakespeare I, 2:4 71).
Summing up, in the play by William Shakespeare Henry IV in Part I, Act II, Scene IV the conversation of Falstaff and Prince Henry is a point of hot discussion. In this respect Falstaff definitely looks more persuasive in his words or, it is better to say, lies. This character provides a scope of suggestions and assumptions for Prince as of the situation in the kingdom. However, the urge of ideas by Falstaff influences the young prince and gives ground for their union for actions. The Prince is intended decisively to catch that “fat robber” and in this respect he is more appealing in the scene under analysis. All in all, the controversy of Falstaff and Hal is seen to be so only from the side of Falstaff. Prince Henry still believes him more and rejects to think of him as the person being implicated in a robbery.