From King Henry the Fourth, Part Two

From 2 Henry IV
In 1 Henry IV, Prince Hal (who will become King Henry V) is something of a scoundrel who consorts with disreputable and even significally criminal rogues, chief of whom is Sir John Falstaff. In 2 Henry IV, or The Second Part of King Henry IV, the royal forces succeed in defeating the remainder of the rebels who fought against the King Henry IV in the first play; then the king dies and is succeeded by Prince Hal, who is crowned Henry V. Although Falstaff plays a large comedic role (indeed, his popularity in 1 Henry IV prompted his major role in the second play), the new King Henry V rejects his old friend completelyonce he takes the throne. Hal/Henry does grant Falstaff a comfortable income, but the harshness of the king's rejection of Falstaff is illustrated in the following excerpt from 2 Henry IV, in which Hal-as-King encounters Falstaff on a public street (as soon as Henry IV dies, Falstaff comes to London in hopes of securing a favorable position at court from his old drinking buddy, Hal):

[Enter KING {HENRY V} and his train, {the Lord Chief Justice among them}]

FALSTAFF: God save thy grace, King Hal! my royal Hal!

PISTOL: The heavens thee guard and keep, most royal imp of fame!

FALSTAFF: God save thee, my sweet boy!

KING: My lord chief justice, speak to that vain man.

CHIEF JUSTICE: Have you your wits? know you what 'tis to speak?

FALSTAFF: My king! my Jove! I speak to thee, my heart!

KING: I know thee not, old man: fall to thy prayers;
How ill white hairs become a fool and jester!
I have long dream'd of such a kind of man,
So surfeit-swell'd, so old and so profane;
But, being awaked, I do despise my dream.
Make less thy body hence, and more thy grace;
Leave gormandizing; know the grave doth gape
For thee thrice wider than for other men.
Reply not to me with a fool-born jest:
Presume not that I am the thing I was;
For God doth know, so shall the world perceive,
That I have turn'd away my former self;
So will I those that kept me company.
When thou dost hear I am as I have been,
Approach me, and thou shalt be as thou wast,
The tutor and the feeder of my riots:
Till then, I banish thee, on pain of death,
As I have done the rest of my misleaders,
Not to come near our person by ten mile.
For competence of life I will allow you,
That lack of means enforce you not to evil:
And, as we hear you do reform yourselves,
We will, according to your strengths and qualities,
Give you advancement. Be it your charge, my lord,
To see perform'd the tenor of our word.
Set on.

[Exeunt KING and his train.] (5.5.40-72)

Falstaff appears only briefly, and this only via the reporting of other characters in Henry V, and even then only to die. Falstaff's death clearly symbolizes King Henry's leaving his old ways behind him, and as you'll see, the change in his character in this play is remarkable.