10

The joke relies on knowledge of old English coinage. A Noble was worth six shillings and eight pence, or eighty pence, which was 1/3 of a pound sterling (£), the pound being at that time worth 240 pence (in contrast with the decimalised value of 100 pence). The coin was minted for the last time in the 1460s (and in its final years was increased in value to ...


4

Let us first look at the occurrences of words such as [gun]powder and pistol in the play as a whole. Falstaff says (Act V, scene 3), I am as hot as molten lead, and as heavy too. God keep lead out of me, I need no more weight than my own bowels. I have led my ragamuffins where they are peppered. The scene is set during the Battle of Shrewsbury and ...


3

There are five occurrences of "vasty" in Shakespeare's plays: 1 Henry IV, III.1.50: "I can call spirits from the vasty deep" Henry V, Prologue: "Can this cockpit hold / The vasty fields of France?" Henry V, II.2.123: "He might return to vasty Tartar back" Henry V, II.4.105: "the poor souls for whom this hungry war / Opens his vasty jaws" The Merry Wives of ...


1

He is a hero. The whole play is a "morality" play, with a virtue/vice comparison between Falstaff and Hotspur. But the twist is, from the outset, that Falstaff is really the virtue (wise, biblical, popular), while Hotspur is lost in vanity (harebrained, hot blooded) - but brave and honourable, like a legendary giant, with a devout, idealistic maiden in tow: ...


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