Study Guide

Doll Tearsheet in Henry IV Part 2

By William Shakespeare

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Doll Tearsheet

Doll Tearsheet is a smart, saucy, knife-wielding, prostitute, who hangs out at the Boar's Head Tavern. She's Mistress Quickly's BFF and Falstaff's favorite "companion." Unlike Mistress Quickly, Tearsheet is pretty smart and can definitely hold her own in a verbal smack down. She can also hold her own in a bar brawl, which she does in Act 2, Scene 4, when she gets into a little dustup with Pistol. All of these activities make Doll Tearsheet an unruly figure – she flouts male authority, civil order, and social convention. Though the Henry plays seem to celebrate this kind of disorder and rebellion, it ultimately restores order at the conclusion of Henry IV Part 2, when Doll and the other Eastcheap rowdies are put in their places. At the end of Act 5, Scene 4, Doll and Mistress Quickly are arrested for murder on the streets of London.

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