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When Henry IV assumes the throne of England, rumors are widespread that he had a hand in the elimination of Richard II, and the country divides into factions. Although a growing number of rebels rally behind the son of the Duke of Northumberland, Prince Hal ignores the threat to his father, the king, and passes his time carousing with his inseparable friend, the blustering and cheating Falstaff. Eventually, however, Prince Hal goes into battle against the rebels. But Falstaff attributes this exploit to himself; and the king, deceived by Falstaff's bragging, is convinced that his son is a coward. When the rebels are finally vanquished, Prince Hal visits the king on his deathbed and vows to reform. When King Henry dies, Prince Hal is crowned Henry V. Falstaff attends the coronation, confident that the new king will bestow a high-ranking title upon him. Instead, he is cast off. Filled with sadness at seeing his former wastrel companion transformed into a responsible ruler, Falstaff dies a lonely and embittered man.