Lecture 16 Notes

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21 Mar 2012
Lecture 16
1) humoural theory and Falstaff
2) Harry‟s Decline, Hal‟s Ambition
3) Rationalizing rebellion
1653 text humoural theory still persisted then
Hal as sanguine orders a small beer
Actor for Hotspur matched choleric description
Arguing that the black bile substance contains the melancholy
Falstaff means member of royal family (Prince John) Falsfaff doesn‟t treat him with
reverence John as anti-Hal, no wine (Falstaff‟s speech) he makes connection
between what you eat and how your disposition is suggests that without alcohol,
you‟re weak even progeny would be females (weak)
Falstaff says alcohol elevates disposition without it we‟re fools ironic because
Falstaff is seen as a fool Falstaff mocks medical discourse about the effects of food
Sherry Falstaff talks about lives, how it affects the humours liver that produce the
bile talks about all the powers of alcohol offers
Says that valiance was gained from drink he‟s phlegmatic like his dad by nature, but
alcohol is what makes him „hot and valiant‟ choleric
Drinking allows his humour balance to change
This speech is comedic not meant to be taken seriously, but in handout, it‟s serious
Ironic that Hal asks for “small beer” not sherry suggest he wants to abstain from
alcohol he doesn‟t want to be too invested in the tavern
Henry‟s jealous of lowly people in kingdom who can sleep he doesn‟t feel like he‟s
able to achieve this restful forgetfulness easy to fall asleep in humble circumstances,
not rich luxuries because luxury means more responsibility (he‟s a king)
Henry wants to sleep seems out of character for him
o Very opposite from when he was Bolingbroke he didn‟t even have time for
poetics back then now he‟s poetic and wanting to slow down
He wishes he can shun his kingly responsibilities
Both the state and Henry are sickly
Line 168 Henry uses the word “necessity” as if his ascent to throne just happened
and wasn‟t made to happen through usurpation he‟s no longer action-oriented king
sign that it‟s slipped out of control
This word “necessity” was also used in Richard II mark of something against your will
that you have to go along with
Talks about crusade fadedness about end of Henry‟s rule
o Void that needs to be filled this is Hal sanguine, young, energetic king
Act 4, scene 3 deathbed scene
o Henry talks to one of his sons, the duke of Clarence all he wants is to talk
about Hal
o Describes Hal with words “changeable humourous” stereotypically used to
describe female characters
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