The paradoxical Falstaff appeals to mankind at all points of their natures. The wicked find in him a bosom companion, the sedate discover a moral lesson which is pleasant in its learning, and the gay are thrilled with the pure joy of his wit. No other character in literature has embodied so many ignoble characteristics and at the same 'time produced in his readers so many sympathetic reactions.
Hill, Laura N.
"Falstaff: A Purposeful Paradox,"
Manuscripts: Vol. 15
, Article 12.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.butler.edu/manuscripts/vol15/iss2/12