In Greek mythology, Medea is the daughter of King Aeëtes of Colchis, a niece of Circe and the granddaughter of Helios, the sun god begat by the Titan Hyperion. Medea figures in the myth of Jason and the Argonauts, appearing in Hesiod's Theogony around 700 BC, but best known from a 3rd century BC literary version by Apollonius of Rhodes called the Argonautica. Medea is known in most stories as a sorceress and is depicted as a priestess of the goddess Hecate. There have been many different accounts of Medea's family tree. One of the only uncontested facts is that she is a direct descendant of the sun god Helios through her father King Aeëtes of Colchis. Helios and his wife Perse had four children: Aeëtes, Circe and Perses. Aeëtes married Idyia and Medea was one of their children; this is. By some accounts, Aeëtes and Idyia only had two daughters and Chalciope and Apsyrtus was the son of Aeëtes through Asterodea. According to others, Idyia gave birth to Medea and Apsyrtus and Asterodea gave birth to Chalciope.
Medea marries Jason, although the number and names of their children are contested by different scholars. Euripides mentions two unnamed sons, others have suggested three sons two sons or a son and a daughter. After Medea leaves Jason in Corinth, she bears him a son. Scholars have questioned whether her son Medeius is the son of Jason or of Aegeus, but Medeius goes on to become the ancestor of the Medes by conquering their lands; the importance of Medea's genealogy is to help define what level of divinity. By some accounts, like the Argonautica, she is depicted as a mortal woman, she is directly influenced by the Greek gods and while she possesses magical abilities, she is still a mortal with divine ancestry. Other accounts, like Euripides' play Medea, focus on her mortality, although she transcends the mortal world at the end of the play with the help of her grandfather Helios and his sun chariot. Hesiod's Theogony places her marriage to Jason on the list of marriages between mortals and divine, suggesting that she is predominantly divine.
She has connections with the Hecate, the goddess of magic, which could be one of the main sources of which she draws her magical ties. Medea's role began after Jason came from Iolcus to Colchis, to claim his inheritance and throne by retrieving the Golden Fleece. In the most complete surviving account, the Argonautica of Apollonius of Rhodes, Medea fell in love with him and promised to help him, but only on the condition that if he succeeded, he would take her with him and marry her. Jason agreed. In a familiar mythic motif, Aeëtes promised to give him the fleece, but only if he could perform certain tasks. First, Jason had to plough a field with fire-breathing oxen. Next, Jason had to sow the teeth of a dragon in the ploughed field, the teeth sprouted into an army of warriors. Unable to determine where the rock had come from, the soldiers killed each other. Aeëtes made Jason fight and kill the sleepless dragon that guarded the fleece. Jason took the fleece and sailed away with Medea, as he had promised.
Apollonius says that Medea only helped Jason in the first place because Hera had convinced Aphrodite or Eros to cause Medea to fall in love with him. Medea distracted her father. In some versions, Medea was said to have dismembered her brother's body and scattered his parts on an island, knowing her father would stop to retrieve them for proper burial. During the fight, Atalanta, a member of the group helping Jason in his quest for the fleece, was wounded, but Medea healed her. According to some versions and Jason stopped on her aunt Circe's island so that she could be cleansed after murdering her brother, relieving her of blame for the deed. On the way back to Thessaly, Medea prophesied that Euphemus, the helmsman of Jason's ship, the Argo, would one day rule over all of Libya; this came true through a descendant of Euphemus. The Argo reached the island of Crete, guarded by the bronze man, Talos. Talos had one vein, bound shut by a single bronze nail. According to Apollodorus, Talos was slain either when Medea drove him mad with drugs, deceived him that she would make him immortal by removing the nail, or was killed by Poeas's arrow.
In the Argonautica, Medea hypnotized him from the Argo, driving him mad so that he dislodged the nail, ichor flowed from the wound, he bled to death. After Talos died, the Argo landed. Jason, celebrating his return with the Golden Fleece, noted that his father Aeson was too aged and infirm to participate in the celebrations. Medea withdrew the blood from Aeson's body, infused it with certain herbs, returned it to his veins, invigorating him; the daughters of king Pelias wanted the same service for their father. While Jason searched for the Golden Fleece, still angry at Pelias, conspired to make Jason fall in love with Medea, whom Hera hoped would kill Pelias; when Jason and Medea returned to Iolcus, Pelias still refused to give
George Cooper Grizzard, Jr. was an American Emmy Award- and Tony Award-winning actor of film and television. He appeared in more than 40 films, dozens of television programs, a number of Broadway plays. Grizzard was born in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, the son of Mary Winifred and George Cooper Grizzard, an accountant. Grizzard memorably appeared as an unscrupulous United States senator in the film Advise and Consent in 1962, his other theatrical films included the drama From the Terrace with Paul Newman, the Western story Comes a Horseman with Jane Fonda, a Neil Simon comedy, Seems Like Old Times. Grizzard guest-starred several times during the 1990s on the NBC television drama Law & Order as defense attorney Arthur Gold, he portrayed President John Adams in the Emmy Award-winning WNET-produced PBS miniseries The Adams Chronicles. In 1975, Grizzard played a Ku Klux Klan attorney in the NBC-TV movie Attack on Terror: The FBI vs. the Ku Klux Klan about the murder of three civil rights workers in Mississippi.
Grizzard made his Broadway debut in The Desperate Hours in 1955. He was a frequent interpreter of the plays of Edward Albee, having appeared in the original 1962 production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? as Nick, as well as the 1996 revival of A Delicate Balance and the 2005 revival of Seascape. He starred in You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running. In 1980, he won an Emmy for his work in The Oldest Living Graduate, he starred as reporter Richard Larsen in The Deliberate Stranger, a television movie about serial killer Ted Bundy. He won the 1996 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for A Delicate Balance. Additional Broadway credits include The Creation of the World and Other Business, The Glass Menagerie, The Country Girl, The Royal Family, California Suite, he appeared in The Golden Girls as George Devereaux, the late husband of Blanche Devereaux, as well as Jamie Devereaux, George's brother. Grizzard made a guest-star appearance in the outdoor drama, The Lost Colony, as the comedy character Old Tom on Roanoke Island, North Carolina, in the summer of 1984.
The show was directed by Joe Layton. In 2001, Grizzard played Judge Dan Haywood in a stage production of Judgment at Nuremberg opposite Maximilian Schell under the production of actor Tony Randall. Grizzard appeared as Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Kennedy Center in 2004. Grizzard's last film appearance was in Clint Eastwood's Flags of Our Fathers, he was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2002. Grizzard died in Manhattan of complications from lung cancer. According to his New York Times obituary, his only survivor was his long-time companion William Tynan. Grizzard had kept his sexuality private during his life. Robert Berkvist. "George Grizzard, Actor Noted for Albee Roles, Dies at 79". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-02. George Grizzard at the Internet Broadway Database George Grizzard on IMDb George Grizzard at the Internet Off-Broadway Database George Grizzard at Find a Grave George Grizzard papers, circa 1900-2007, held by the Billy Rose Theatre Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
The Seagull is a play by Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov, written in 1895 and first produced in 1896. The Seagull is considered to be the first of his four major plays, it dramatises the romantic and artistic conflicts between four characters: the famous middlebrow story writer Boris Trigorin, the ingenue Nina, the fading actress Irina Arkadina, her son the symbolist playwright Konstantin Tréplev. Though the character of Trigorin is considered Chekhov's greatest male role like Chekhov's other full-length plays, The Seagull relies upon an ensemble cast of diverse developed characters. In contrast to the melodrama of mainstream 19th-century theatre, lurid actions are not shown onstage. Characters tend to speak in ways; the opening night of the first production was a famous failure. Vera Komissarzhevskaya, playing Nina, was so intimidated by the hostility of the audience that she lost her voice. Chekhov spent the last two acts behind the scenes; when supporters wrote to him that the production became a success, he assumed that they were trying to be kind.
When Konstantin Stanislavski, the seminal Russian theatre practitioner of the time, directed it in 1898 for his Moscow Art Theatre, the play was a triumph. Stanislavski's production of The Seagull became "one of the greatest events in the history of Russian theatre and one of the greatest new developments in the history of world drama". After purchasing the Melikhovo farm in 1892, Chekhov had built in the middle of a cherry orchard a lodge consisting of three rooms, one containing a bed and another a writing table. In spring, when the cherries were in blossom, it was pleasant to live in this lodge, but in winter it was so buried in the snow that pathways had to be cut to it through drifts as high as a man. Chekhov moved in and in a letter written in October 1895 wrote: I am writing a play which I shall not finish before the end of November. I am writing it not without pleasure. It's a comedy, there are four acts, landscapes, thus he acknowledged a departure from traditional dramatic action. This departure would become a critical hallmark of the Chekhovian theater.
Chekhov's statement reflects his view of the play as comedy, a viewpoint he would maintain towards all his plays. After the play's disastrous opening night his friend Aleksey Suvorin chided him as being "womanish" and accused him of being in "a funk." Chekhov vigorously denied this, stating: Why this libel? After the performance I had supper at Romanov's. On my word of honour. I went to bed, slept soundly, next day went home without uttering a sound of complaint. If I had been in a funk I should have run from editor to editor and actor to actor, should have nervously entreated them to be considerate, should nervously have inserted useless corrections and should have spent two or three weeks in Petersburg fussing over my Seagull, in excitement, in a cold perspiration, in lamentation.... I acted as coldly and reasonably as a man who has made an offer, received a refusal, has nothing left but to go. Yes, my vanity was stung, and a month later: I thought that if I had written and put on the stage a play so brimming over with monstrous defects, I had lost all instinct and that, therefore, my machinery must have gone wrong for good.
The eventual success of the play, both in the remainder of its first run and in the subsequent staging by the Moscow Art Theatre under Stanislavski, would encourage Chekhov to remain a playwright and lead to the overwhelming success of his next endeavor Uncle Vanya, indeed to the rest of his dramatic oeuvre. Irina Nikolayevna Arkadina – an actress Konstantin Gavrilovich Treplyov – Irina's son, a playwright Boris Alexeyevich Trigorin – a well-known writer Nina Mikhailovna Zarechnaya – the daughter of a rich landowner Pjotr Nikolayevich Sorin – Irina's brother Ilya Afanasyevich Shamrayev – a retired lieutenant and the manager of Sorin's estate Polina Andryevna – Ilya's wife Masha – Ilya and Polina's daughter Yevgeny Sergeyevich Dorn – a doctor Semyon Semyonovich Medvedenko – a teacher Yakov – a hired workman Cook – a worker on Sorin's estate Maid – a worker on Sorin's estate Watchman – a worker on Sorin's estate, he is the brother of the famous actress Irina Arkadina, who has just arrived at the estate for a brief vacation with her lover, the writer Boris Trigorin.
Pjotr Sorin and his guests gather at an outdoor stage to see an unconventional play that Irina's son, Konstantin Treplyov, has written and directed. The play-within-a-play features Nina Zarechnaya, a young woman who lives on a neighboring estate, as the "soul of the world" in a time far in the future; the play is Konstantin's latest attempt at creating a new theatrical form, is a dense symbolist work. Irina laughs at the play, finding it incomprehensible. Irina does not seem concerned about her son. Although others ridicule Konstantin's drama, the physician Yevgeny Dorn praises him. Act I sets up the play's various romantic triangles. T
Richard II (play)
King Richard the Second is a history play by William Shakespeare believed to have been written in 1595. It is based on the life of King Richard II of England and is the first part of a tetralogy, referred to by some scholars as the Henriad, followed by three plays concerning Richard's successors: Henry IV, Part 1. Although the First Folio edition of Shakespeare's works lists the play as a history play, the earlier Quarto edition of 1597 calls it The tragedie of King Richard the second; the play spans only the last two years of Richard's life, from 1398 to 1400. The first Act begins with King Richard sitting majestically on his throne in full state, having been requested to arbitrate a dispute between Thomas Mowbray and Richard's cousin, Henry Bolingbroke Henry IV, who has accused Mowbray of squandering money given to him by Richard for the king's soldiers and of murdering Bolingbroke's uncle, the Duke of Gloucester. Bolingbroke's father, John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, believes it was Richard himself, responsible for his brother's murder.
After several attempts to calm both men, Richard acquiesces and it is determined that the matter be resolved in the established method of trial by battle between Bolingbroke and Mowbray, despite the objections of Gaunt. The tournament scene is formal with a long, ceremonial introduction, but as the combatants are about to fight, Richard interrupts and sentences both to banishment from England. Bolingbroke is sentenced to ten years' banishment, but Richard reduces this to six years upon seeing John of Gaunt's grieving face, while Mowbray is banished permanently; the king's decision can be seen as the first mistake in a series leading to his overthrow and death, since it is an error which highlights many of his character flaws, displaying as it does indecisiveness and arbitrariness. In addition, the decision fails to dispel the suspicions surrounding Richard's involvement in the death of the Duke of Gloucester – in fact, by handling the situation so high-handedly and offering no coherent explanation for his reasoning, Richard only manages to appear more guilty.
Mowbray predicts that the king will sooner or fall at the hands of Bolingbroke. John of Gaunt dies and Richard II seizes all of his land and money; this angers the nobility, who accuse Richard of wasting England's money, of taking Gaunt's money to fund war in Ireland, of taxing the commoners, of fining the nobles for crimes committed by their ancestors. They help Bolingbroke to return secretly to England, with a plan to overthrow Richard II. There remain, subjects who continue faithful to the king, among them Bushy, Bagot and the Duke of Aumerle, cousin of both Richard and Bolingbroke; when King Richard leaves England to attend to the war in Ireland, Bolingbroke seizes the opportunity to assemble an army and invades the north coast of England. Executing both Bushy and Green, he wins over the Duke of York, whom Richard has left in charge of his government in his absence. Upon Richard's return, Bolingbroke not only reclaims his lands but lays claim to the throne. Crowning himself King Henry IV, he has Richard taken prisoner to the castle of Pomfret.
Aumerle and others plan a rebellion against the new king, but York discovers his son's treachery and reveals it to Henry, who spares Aumerle as a result of the intercession of the Duchess of York while executing the other conspirators. After interpreting King Henry's "living fear" as a reference to the still-living Richard, an ambitious nobleman goes to the prison and murders him. King Henry repudiates the murderer and vows to journey to Jerusalem to cleanse himself of his part in Richard's death. Shakespeare's primary source for Richard II, as for most of his chronicle histories, was Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles. Edward Hall's The Union of the Two Illustrious Families of Lancaster and York appears to have been consulted, scholars have supposed Shakespeare familiar with Samuel Daniel's poem on the civil wars. A somewhat more complicated case is presented by the anonymous play sometimes known as The First Part of Richard II; this play, which exists in one incomplete manuscript copy is subtitled Thomas of Woodstock, it is by this name that scholars since F. S. Boas have called it.
This play treats the events leading up to the start of Shakespeare's play. This closeness, along with the anonymity of the manuscript, has led certain scholars to attribute all or part of the play to Shakespeare, though many critics view this play as a secondary influence on Shakespeare, not as his work; the earliest recorded performance of Richard II was a private one, in Canon Row, the house of Edward Hoby, on December 9, 1595. The play was entered into the Register of the Stationers Company on 29 August 1597 by the bookseller Andrew Wise; the second and third quartos followed in 1598 – the only time a Shakespeare play was printed in three editions in two years. Q4 followed in 1608, Q5 in 1615; the play was next published in the First Folio in 1623. Richard II exists in a number of variations; the quartos vary to some degree from one another, the folio presents further differences. The first three quartos (printed in 1597 and 1598, commo
Jessica Tandy was an English-American stage and film actress best known for her Academy Award winning performance in the film Driving Miss Daisy. Tandy appeared in over 100 stage productions and had more than 60 roles in film and TV. Born in London to Jessie Helen Horspool and commercial traveller Harry Tandy, she was only 18 when she made her professional debut on the London stage in 1927. During the 1930s, she appeared in a large number of plays in London's West End, playing roles such as Ophelia and Katherine. During this period, she worked in a number of British films. Following the end of her marriage to the British actor Jack Hawkins, she moved to New York in 1940, where she met Canadian actor Hume Cronyn, he became her second husband and frequent partner on screen. She received the Tony Award for best performance by a Leading Actress in A Play for her performance as Blanche DuBois in the original Broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire in 1948. Tandy shared the prize with Judith Anderson in a three-way tie for the award.
Over the following three decades, her career continued sporadically and included a supporting role in Alfred Hitchcock's horror film, The Birds, a Tony Award-winning performance in The Gin Game. Along with Cronyn, she was a member of the original acting company of the Guthrie Theater. In the mid-1980s she had a career revival, she appeared with Cronyn in the Broadway production of Foxfire in 1983 and its television adaptation four years winning both a Tony Award and an Emmy Award for her portrayal of Annie Nations. During these years, she appeared in films such as Cocoon with Cronyn, she became the oldest actress to receive the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Driving Miss Daisy, for which she won a BAFTA and a Golden Globe, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Fried Green Tomatoes. At the height of her success, she was named as one of People's "50 Most Beautiful People", she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1990, continued working until shortly before her death.
The youngest of three siblings, Tandy was born in Geldeston Road in London. Her father, Harry Tandy, was a travelling salesman for a rope manufacturer, her mother, Jessie Helen Horspool, was from a large fenland family in Wisbech and the head of a school for mentally handicapped children. Her father died when Tandy was 12, her mother subsequently taught evening courses to earn an income, her brother Edward was a prisoner of war of the Japanese in the Far East. Tandy was educated at Dame Alice Owen's School in Islington. Tandy began her career at the age of 18 in London, establishing herself with performances opposite such actors as Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud, she entered films in Britain, but after her marriage to Jack Hawkins failed, she moved to the United States hoping to find better roles. During her time as a leading actress on the stage in London she had to fight for roles over her two rivals, Peggy Ashcroft and Celia Johnson. In 1942, she married Hume Cronyn and over the following years played supporting roles in several Hollywood films.
Tandy became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1952. Like so many stage actors, Tandy had a hand in radio, as well. Among other programs, she was a regular on Mandrake the Magician, with husband Hume Cronyn in The Marriage which ran on radio from 1953–54, segued onto television, she made her American film debut in The Seventh Cross. The Hollywood studio system did not know. Failing to gain leading roles, she was relegated to supporting appearances in The Valley of Decision, The Green Years, Dragonwyck starring Gene Tierney and Vincent Price and Forever Amber. Over the next three decades, her film career continued sporadically while she found better roles on the stage, her roles during this time included The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel opposite James Mason, The Light in the Forest, a role as a domineering mother in Alfred Hitchcock's film, The Birds. On Broadway, she won a Tony Award for her performance as Blanche Dubois in the original Broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire in 1948.
After this, she concentrated on the stage. In 1977, she earned her second Tony Award, for her performance in The Gin Game and her third Tony in 1982 for her performance, again with Cronyn, in Foxfire; the beginning of the 1980s saw a resurgence in her film career, with character roles in The World According to Garp, Best Friends, Still of the Night and The Bostonians. She and Cronyn were now working together more on stage and television, including the films Cocoon, *batteries not included and Cocoon: The Return and the Emmy Award winning television film Foxfire. However, it was her colourful performance in Driving Miss Daisy, as an aging, stubborn Southern-Jewish matron, that earned her an Oscar, she received a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her work in the grassroots hit Fried Green Tomatoes, co-starred in The Story Lady, Used People, television film To Dance with the White Dog, Nobody's Fool, Camilla. Camilla proved to be her last perf
Peer Gynt is a five-act play in verse by the Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen published in 1867. Written in Danish—the common written language of Denmark and Norway in Ibsen's lifetime—it is one of the most performed Norwegian plays. Ibsen believed Per Gynt, the Norwegian fairy tale on which the play is loosely based, to be rooted in fact, several of the characters are modelled after Ibsen's own family, notably his parents Knud Ibsen and Marichen Altenburg, he was generally inspired by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen's collection of Norwegian fairy tales, published in 1845. Peer Gynt chronicles the journey of its titular character from the Norwegian mountains to the North African desert. According to Klaus Van Den Berg, "its origins are romantic, but the play anticipates the fragmentations of emerging modernism" and the "cinematic script blends poetry with social satire and realistic scenes with surreal ones." Peer Gynt has been described as the story of a life based on procrastination and avoidance.
The play was written in Italy and a first edition of 1,250 copies was published on 14 November 1867 by the Danish publisher Gyldendal in Copenhagen. Although the first edition swiftly sold out, a reprint of two thousand copies, which followed after only fourteen days, didn't sell out until seven years later. While Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson admired the play's "satire on Norwegian egotism and self-sufficiency" and described it as "magnificent", Hans Christian Andersen, Georg Brandes and Clemens Petersen all joined the widespread hostility, Petersen writing that the play was not poetry. Enraged by Petersen's criticisms in particular, Ibsen defended his work by arguing that it "is poetry; the conception of poetry in our country, in Norway, shall shape itself according to this book." Despite this defense of his poetic achievement in Peer Gynt, the play was his last to employ verse. Ibsen wrote Peer Gynt in deliberate disregard of the limitations that the conventional stagecraft of the 19th century imposed on drama.
Its forty scenes move uninhibitedly in time and space and between consciousness and the unconscious, blending folkloric fantasy and unsentimental realism. Raymond Williams compares Peer Gynt with August Strindberg's early drama Lucky Peter's Journey and argues that both explore a new kind of dramatic action, beyond the capacities of the theatre of the day. Peer Gynt was first performed in Christiania on 24 February 1876, with original music composed by Edvard Grieg that includes some of today's most recognized classical pieces, "In the Hall of the Mountain King" and "Morning Mood", it was published in German translation in 1881, in English in 1892, in French in 1896. The contemporary influence of the play continues into the twenty-first century. Peer Gynt was written in Danish, the common written language of Denmark and Norway since the Dano-Norwegian union and throughout Ibsen's lifetime; the language was referred to as Danish in Denmark and as Norwegian in Norway, although it was the same written language, is therefore called Dano-Norwegian.
Due to its basis in Norwegian folktales, the play uses a few Norwegianisms in its vocabulary and idiom, but is otherwise written in a language identical to standard Danish. Peer Gynt was published by the Danish publisher Gyldendal in Copenhagen and targeted at both the Danish and the Norwegian market in its original language. Peer Gynt is the son of the once regarded Jon Gynt. Jon Gynt spent all his money on feasting and living lavishly, had to leave his farm to become a wandering salesman, leaving his wife and son behind in debt. Åse, the mother, wished to raise her son to restore the lost fortune of his father, but Peer is soon to be considered useless. He is a poet and a braggart, not like the youngest son from Norwegian fairy tales, the "Ash Lad", with whom he shares some characteristics; as the play opens, Peer gives an account of a reindeer hunt that went awry, a famous theatrical scene known as "the Buckride". His mother scorns him for his vivid imagination, taunts him because he spoiled his chances with Ingrid, the daughter of the richest farmer.
Peer leaves for Ingrid's wedding, scheduled for the following day, because he may still get a chance with the bride. His mother follows to stop him from shaming himself completely. At the wedding, the other guests taunt and laugh at Peer the local blacksmith, who holds a grudge after an earlier brawl. In the same wedding, Peer meets a family of Haugean newcomers from another valley, he notices the elder daughter and asks her to dance. She refuses because her father would disapprove, because Peer's reputation has preceded him, she leaves, Peer starts drinking. When he hears the bride has locked herself in, he seizes the opportunity, runs away with her, spends the night with her in the mountains. Peer is banished for kidnapping Ingrid; as he wanders the mountains, his mother, Åse, Solveig's father search for him. Peer meets three amorous dairymaids, he becomes intoxicated with them and spends the next day alone suffering from a hangover. He runs head-first into a rock and swoons, the rest of the second act takes place in Peer's dreams.
He comes across a woman clad in green. Together they ride into the mountain hall, the troll king gives Peer the opport
Henry IV, Part 2
Henry IV, Part 2 is a history play by William Shakespeare believed to have been written between 1596 and 1599. It is the third part of a tetralogy, preceded by Richard II and Henry IV, Part 1 and succeeded by Henry V; the play is seen as an extension of aspects of Henry IV, Part 1, rather than a straightforward continuation of the historical narrative, placing more emphasis on the popular character of Falstaff and introducing other comic figures as part of his entourage, including Ancient Pistol, Doll Tearsheet, Justice Robert Shallow. Several scenes parallel episodes in Part 1; the play picks up where Part 1 left off. Its focus is on Prince Hal's journey toward kingship, his ultimate rejection of Falstaff. However, unlike Part One, Hal's and Falstaff's stories are entirely separate, as the two characters meet only twice and briefly; the tone of much of the play is elegiac, focusing on Falstaff's age and his closeness to death, which parallels that of the sick king. Falstaff is still engaging in petty criminality in the London underworld.
He first appears, followed by a new character, a young page whom Prince Hal has assigned him as a joke. Falstaff enquires what the doctor has said about the analysis of his urine, the page cryptically informs him that the urine is healthier than the patient. Falstaff delivers one of his most characteristic lines: "I am not only witty in myself, but the cause that wit is in other men." Falstaff promises to outfit the page in "vile apparel". He complains of his insolvency, blaming it on "consumption of the purse." They go off, Falstaff vowing to find a wife "in the stews". The Lord Chief Justice enters. Falstaff at first feigns deafness in order to avoid conversing with him, when this tactic fails pretends to mistake him for someone else; as the Chief Justice attempts to question Falstaff about a recent robbery, Falstaff insists on turning the subject of the conversation to the nature of the illness afflicting the King. He adopts the pretense of being a much younger man than the Chief Justice: "You that are old consider not the capacities of us that are young."
He asks the Chief Justice for one thousand pounds to help outfit a military expedition, but is denied. He has a relationship with Doll Tearsheet, a prostitute, who gets into a fight with Ancient Pistol, Falstaff's ensign. After Falstaff ejects Pistol, Doll asks him about the Prince. Falstaff is embarrassed when his derogatory remarks are overheard by Hal, present disguised as a musician. Falstaff tries to talk his way out of it; when news of a second rebellion arrives, Falstaff joins the army again, goes to the country to raise forces. There he encounters an old school friend, Justice Shallow, they reminisce about their youthful follies. Shallow brings forward potential recruits for the loyalist army: Mouldy, Feeble and Wart, a motley collection of rustic yokels. Falstaff and his cronies accept bribes from two of them and Bullcalf, not to be conscripted. In the other storyline, Hal remains an acquaintance of London lowlife and seems unsuited to kingship, his father, King Henry IV is again disappointed in the young prince because of that, despite reassurances from the court.
Another rebellion is launched against Henry IV, but this time it is defeated, not by a battle, but by the duplicitous political machinations of Hal's brother, Prince John. King Henry sickens and appears to die. Hal, seeing this, believes he is exits with the crown. King Henry, awakening, is devastated. Hal convinces him otherwise and the old king subsequently dies contentedly; the two story-lines meet in the final scene, in which Falstaff, having learned from Pistol that Hal is now King, travels to London in expectation of great rewards. But Hal rejects him, saying that he has now changed, can no longer associate with such people; the London lowlifes, expecting a paradise of thieves under Hal's governance, are instead purged and imprisoned by the authorities. At the end of the play, an epilogue thanks the audience and promises that the story will continue in a forthcoming play "with Sir John in it, make you merry with fair Katharine of France. In fact, Falstaff does not appear on stage in the subsequent play, Henry V, although his death is referred to.
The Merry Wives of Windsor does have "Sir John in it", but cannot be the play referred to, since the passage describes the forthcoming story of Henry V and his wooing of Katherine of France. Falstaff in London at the beginning of the play, his death is offstage, described by another character and he never appears. His role as a cowardly soldier looking out for himself is taken by Ancient Pistol, his braggart sidekick in Henry IV, Part 2 and Merry Wives; the epilogue assures the playgoer that Falstaff is not based on the anti-Catholic rebel Sir John Oldcastle, for "Oldcastle died martyr, this is not the man." Falstaff had been named Oldcastle, following Shakespeare's main model, an earlier play The Famous Victories of Henry V. Shakespeare was forced to change the name after complaints from Oldcastle's descendants. While it is accepted by modern critics that the name was Oldcastle in Part 1, it is disputed whether or not Part 2 retained the name, or whether it was always "Falstaff". According to René Weis, metrical analyses of the verse passages containing Falstaff's name have been inconclusive.
Shakespeare's primary source for Henry IV, Part 2, as for most of his chronicle histories, was Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles.