How was Falstaff a 'wayward mentor' to Hal in Henry 4, Part 1?

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William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Falstaff was leading a dissolute life himself and encouraging Hal to follow his example. They spent much of their time drinking and eating. Hal knew that he was wasting his life by associating with such people as Falstaff and his friends. He knew that they were far beneath him, since he was the heir apparent to the English throne. Falstaff even induced Hal to participate in armed robbery on at least one occasion. Hal participated only for excitement, since he could certainly called on his father for all the money he needed. Falstaff was a mentor who was teaching Hal all the wrong things; he was leading him wayward--that is, in the wrong direction. Falstaff fully expected promotion and enrichment when Hal finally became King Henry V, but he was in for a great disappointment.

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Henry IV, Part I

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