Falstaff: Give Me Life (Shakespeare’s Personalities)

Falstaff: Give Me Life (Shakespeare's Personalities) Author Harold Bloom
ISBN-10 1501164139
ISBN-13 9781501164132
Year 2017-04-04
Pages 176
Language English
Publisher Scribner
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From Harold Bloom one of the greatest Shakespeare scholars of our time as well as a beloved professor who has taught the Bard for over half a century an intimate wise deeply compelling portrait of FalstaffShakespeares greatest enduring and complex comedic character Falstaff is both a comic and tragic central protagonist in Shakespeares three Henry plays Henry IV Parts One and Two and Henry V He is companion to Prince Hal the future Henry V who loves him goads him teases him indulges his vast appetites and commits all sorts of mischief with himsome innocent some cruel Falstaff can be lewd funny careless of others a bad creditor an unreliable friend and in the end devastatingly reckless in his presumption of loyalty from the new King Award winning author and beloved professor Harold Bloom writes about Falstaff with the deepest compassion and sympathy and also with unerring wisdom He uses the relationship between Falstaff and Hal to explore the devastation of severed bonds and the heartbreak of betrayal Just as we encounter one type of Anna Karenina or Jay Gatsby when we are young adults and another when we are middle aged Bloom writes about his own shifting understanding of Falstaff over the course of his lifetime Ultimately we come away with a deeper appreciation of this profoundly complex character and the book as a whole becomes an extraordinarily moving argument for literature as a path to and a measure of our humanity Bloom is mesmerizing in the classroom wrestling with the often tragic choices Shakespeares characters make He delivers that kind of exhilarating intimacy and clarity in Falstaff inviting us to look at a character as a flawed human who might live in our world The result is deeply intimate and utterly compelling

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