“The king has killed his heart”: the death of Falstaff in Henry V.
Fraser, S. (2010) “The king has killed his heart”: the death of Falstaff in Henry V. Sederi: Yearbook of the Spanish and Portuguese Society for English Renaissance Studies, 20. pp. 145-157. ISSN 1135-7789
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Even with the multitude of religious, political, social and gendered readings of the character, critics have invariably (and understandably) tended to focus most often on the events leading up to and including the rejection scene in 2 Henry IV, and have given far less attention to the report of his death in Henry V. In light of criticism concerning the relationship between Falstaff and the actor Will Kemp, as well as the roles of the stage Vice and clown, this essay will focus on the report in an attempt to reinterpret it and its importance for the play as a whole. As will be seen, in performance it actually formed an integral part of an iterative process that would have served to problematize the presentation of kingship in Henry V on the early modern stage.