King Henry IV, Part I | Critical Essay by Tom McAlindon

This literature criticism consists of approximately 18 pages of analysis & critique of King Henry IV, Part I.
This section contains 5,296 words
(approx. 18 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Tom McAlindon

SOURCE: McAlindon, Tom. “Perfect Answers: Religious Inquisition, Falstaffian Wit.” Shakespeare Survey 54 (2001): 100-07.

In the following essay, McAlindon agrees with literary scholars who maintain that Falstaff is a parody of both Sir John Oldcastle and contemporary Puritans. The critic also contends that in addition to creating a humorous caricature of Puritanism in the fat knight, Shakespeare ingeniously transformed “a Puritan butt into an exceptionally appealing character with a quicksilver mind and tongue.”

I

Few would now deny that in Henry IV the character of Falstaff constitutes a deliberate and audacious caricature of a Protestant hero, the fourteenth-century champion of Wycliffe's doctrines, Sir John Oldcastle, the first Lord Cobham, ‘Lollardus Lollardorum’.1 Shakespeare's wicked joke, as Ernst Honigmann has called it,2 gave offence in his own time not only to Cobham's distinguished titular...

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This section contains 5,296 words
(approx. 18 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Tom McAlindon