While England is threatened by the Earl of Northumberland, Young Prince Hal cavorts in London's taverns, accompanied by the dissolute, entertaining Falstaff and his band of rogues. Much of this play's tension involves Prince Hal and Falstaff, as the former tries to live up to his duties and responsibilities. In creating Falstaff Shakespeare gave us one of the theater's most enduring and memorable characters.
Burton Raffel is Distinguished Professor of Arts and Humanities Emeritus and professor of English emeritus, University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Among his many edited and translated publications are Poems and Prose from the Old English, Cliges, Lancelot, Perceval, Erec and Enide, and Yvain, all published by Yale University Press. Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University and Berg Professor of English at New York University, is the author of many books, including The Western Canon, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human, and Where Shall Wisdom Be Found?