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Falstaff is a fictional character who appears in four plays by William Shakespeare. Round and glorious, tradition holds that Shakespeare wrote the part for his second comedian, a fat man, John Heminge, who played at bold, baudy humor of a [John Candy] sort. Flush with flatulent humor, Falstaff still managed to embody a kind of depth common to Shakespeare's tricky comedy. In Act II, Scene III of Henry V, his death is described by the character "Hostess," possibly the bar-lady Mistress Quickly[?], who describes his body in terms that echo the description of the death of Socrates.

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Giuseppe Verdi's last opera, Falstaff, with libretto by Arrigo Boito, is an opera buffa, based primarily on The Merry Wives of Windsor.

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