From Mr Marcus Coles.

Sir, By describing Paul Flowers as a “latter-day Falstaff”, you do Shakespeare a great disservice (“The bumbling bank boss with meth in his madness”, Person in the News, November 23).

Yes, Falstaff slept with prostitutes and drank copious quantities of sherris wine, but in doing so he certainly never intended to pay for either pleasure with cash – he was almost permanently broke. He was the bon vivant of The Boar’s Head Tavern and the philosopher of Eastcheap – a lovable rogue who not only made us laugh at him and with him, but also at ourselves (and still does every time we see him!).

He is to England what Don Quixote is to Spain; a national literary treasure who delights each new generation that discovers him. “I am not only witty in myself, but the cause that wit is in other men.” (Henry IV Pt 2). None of this can be said of Paul Flowers; liken him to Shakespeare’s treacherous, ambitious Richard III, or the oafish Cloten in Cymbeline, but not to “valiant Jack Falstaff”.

Marcus Coles, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK


Letters in response to this letter:

An Everyman figure in which we must recognise ourselves / From Mr Matthew Wesley

Shakespeare’s inveterate fantasist / From Ms Sharon Footerman

Get alerts on Letter when a new story is published

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window)