Characters Of Shakespeare's Plays

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Kessinger Publishing, Jun 1, 2004 - Literary Criticism - 240 pages
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The secret of Falstaff's wit is for the most part a masterly presence of mind, an absolute self-possession, which nothing can disturb. His repartees are involuntary suggestions of his self-love; instinctive evasions of everything that threatens to interrupt the career of his triumphant jollity and self-complacency. His very size floats him out of all his difficulties in a sea of rich conceits; and he turns round on the pivot of his convenience, with every occasion and at a moment's warning. His natural repugnance to every unpleasant thought or circumstance of itself makes light of objections, and provokes the most extravagant and licentious answers in his own justification. His indifference to truth puts no check upon his invention, and the more improbable and unexpected his contrivances are, the more happily does he seem to be delivered of them, the anticipation of their effect acting as a stimulus to the gaiety of his fancy.

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About the author (2004)

The son of an Irish Unitarian minister, William Hazlitt was born on April 10, 1778 in Maidstone, England. As a young man, Hazlitt studied for the ministry at Hackney College in London, but eventually realized that he wasn't committed to becoming a minister, so he began a career as a writer, an occupation he would follow for the rest of his life. In 1817, Hazlitt published his first book of essays, Round Table. This work was followed by Table Talk in 1821, Spirit of the Age in 1825, Plain Speaker in 1826, and his last lengthy piece, The Life of Napoleon, in 1830. Considered one of the most important English writers of all times, Hazlitt was a contemporary and friend of Samuel Coleridge, William Wordsworth, and Charles Lamb. William Hazlitt died on September 18, 1830. He is buried in St. Anne's churchyard in Soho, England.

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