Description: The different interpretations of the character of Sir John Falstaff have been so controversial that at no time since the presentation of the Henry IV plays have critics been able to agree as to his precise qualities. He has been called the greatest humorous character in all literature by even those critics who have spoken adversely of his other traits. George Bernard Shaw called him "a besotted and disgusting old wretch," an opinion added to those of others who have seen him as a coward, liar, cheat, thief, glutton, and rogue. There is no denying that he is one of the most captivating and controversial of all characters in English literature.
Date: August 1956
Creator: Boswell, Fred Page