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YMMV: Henry IV
  • Alternate Character Interpretation - Is Falstaff some kind of canny Magnificent Bastard who tests Hal, and is eventually surpassed, or just an old fat drunkard who represents the worst excesses of Hal's youth — who is eventually outgrown?
  • Ensemble Darkhorse - Falstaff. To the point that Orson Welles made a whole movie about him, and eventually Queen Elizabeth herself requested a play just about Falstaff — The Merry Wives of Windsor.
  • Fanon Discontinuity - Hal's first soliloquy, "I know you all", explains how he's not really a fun-loving rascal—he's just pretending to be one to make it more dramatic when he decides to get serious. A lot of the commentary on the play begins by carefully explaining why he doesn't really mean what he's saying.
    • Of course, if you don't ignore the soliloquy Hal gives, then he's easily the best chessmaster in Shakespeare.

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