Does this costume make me look fat?

Thou art so fat-witted, with drinking of old sack, and unbuttoning thee after supper, and sleeping upon benches after noon, that thou hast forgotten to demand that truly which thou wouldst truly know. What a devil hast thou to do with the time of the day?.-Prince Henry(1.2)

Reading this passage in tandem with my research, I am drawn to the corpulent body of Fastolf. It is obvious that this is a key character trait that must be associated with him, but I am curious as to whether this large figure was created with props or if there was a chubby actor in the group at the time. If this fat body was artificially created with stuffing, then the corpulence must be closely examined because it was a key detail that Shakespeare wanted to highlight. It may be to comedic ally highlight gluttony or to culturally comment on the extravagance’s downfalls.  If this character was acted by a beefy man, was he a temporary actor that got the job because of his size? If so, was this same actor invited back when Fastolf reappears? On the other hand, if this actor was a permanent member of the company, did Shakespeare specifically write this role for him? I ask these questions because Fastolf is such an interesting character, so if he was inspired by a real man, I bet he was a very interesting person.



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