The Evening that Belonged to Falstaff

By Andrew Dorchester, AGI’20

Mr. Louis Petrich, tutor, presented a Friday Night Lecture with the humor, oratory fireworks, and textual insight for which his students have long appreciated him.

His title: “Falstaff Riseth Up.” His subject: the girth of both the body and soul of that “fat man,” as the center of meaning and liveliness in Henry IV, Part 1. The lecture was accompanied by a panoply of images and videos, ranging from the hilarious to the gulp-worthy; Petrich less lectured than soliloquized, adding a mischievous accent that Falstaff would lovingly approve of, never missing an opportunity to be the center of the party.

The absurdities and subtleties of this larger-than-life character, and Falstaff’s influence on his “lad” Hal (who just happens to be the Prince of Wales) were revealed in the lecture to be the heights of Shakespeare’s argument for life! And while Falstaff provides the audience of Henry IV with a good number of laughs, Petrich makes it clear that he is not merely a character of comic relief, but one who offers insight into the human condition, connection, and yes, consumption.

For those unfortunate enough to miss the live performance, you can thank Jeremy Sheeler, AGI’18 and owner of Awarehouse Productions, for the recording below!

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