Falstaff and Hotspur are two of the most memorable characters in the play, both larger than life. Both are knights, though Hotspur is brave and zealous, taking his vocation very seriously, while Falstaff cares nothing for the conventions of knighthood, being a coward and a glutton. The difference between them is underscored by Hotspur’s speaking in ceremonious blank verse, while Falstaff speaks in colorful prose.
The two knights represent extremes in every sense and are similar principally in being equally extreme in opposite directions. One of the most telling differences between them is shown in their attitudes to honor. To Hotspur, it is a sacred word. In his view, a knight ought to be prepared to go to any lengths to preserve or redeem his honor:
By heaven, methinks it were an easy leap,
To pluck bright honor from the pale-faced moon,
Or dive into the bottom of the deep,
Where fathom-line could never touch the ground,
And pluck up drowned honor by the locks;
So he that doth redeem her...
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