King Henry IV, Part I Essay

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Source: "Hotspur," in Southern Review, Australia, Vol. III, No.1, 1968, pp. 34-51.

[Gardner attempts to show how critics have misunderstood Hotspur. Recognizing Hotspur's flaws and commenting that the young rebel is "almost ludicrous" Gardner also argues that Hotspur possesses extremely attractive and heroic qualities. Gardner discusses in detail several scenes which highlight Hotspur's virtues.]

. . . My concern in this essay is with Hotspur, but not because I believe Hotspur to be intrinsically more important than Hal or Falstaff. It seems to me . . . that Hotspur has often, and especially in recent years, been given less than his due. This certainly cannot be said of Falstaff, whose importance and whose values have seldom been unappreciated-though some critics have had difficulty in explaining their affection for him to their own consciences. Moreover Falstaff, in his astonishing fleshly self-awareness, is clearly a phenomenon to which every modern "bosom returns an echo". Indeed a characteristic...

(read more from the Critical Essay #18 section)

This section contains 2,141 words
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Buy the King Henry IV, Part I Study Guide
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