Monday, November 8, 2010

Chaos is…a lesson

Prince Hal is not one for order by any means. He is less than excited to take on his role as king, evading all levels of responsibility whenever possible. He instead spends his time wallowing away with his bar crawler friends. Falstaff and the rest of his chaotic crew however prove to be less than beneficial to Hal, often causing him more trouble than they are worth. However their influence hardens Hal and brings him to the realization that he needs to grow up and take his rightful place as king. The chaotic nature of his friends, while it helps him escape his duties for a while, ultimately pushes him to become a better king than his father.
Like Prince Hal, Shakespeare also enjoys the presence and comic relief of Falstaff and the other bar crawlers. Characters like these are used by Shakespeare to appeal to a lower-class crowd, commonly referred to as groundlings. However the more educated crowd also benefits from these characters, as they move the plot. The chaos of the bar crawlers provide order in a sense, the fuel to develop Shakespeare’s story and also demonstrate how through chaos can come order and clarity.

Henry IV, Part I~William Shakespeare

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