Shallow is a Justice of the Peace, an old, thin, decaying man verging on senility, at least 70 years old.
He is close to Justice Silence, to whose daughter he is godfather. A great babbler, he is rarely quiet, and is forever remembering his days in university – or at least telling tales about his days in university. He has known Falstaff since that time, when he was a starving student. Now rich, he looks forward to the possibility of using Falstaff as a connection to court. He is nevertheless deeply involved in his country living, looking into the smallest details of the local life. He thinks himself much more wicked than he is, not realizing that in terms of drinking he is entirely out of his depth with Falstaff and his cronies. He is an honest and loyal servant of the King, not catching on to why Falstaff allows the two best men he drafts to go free. He lends Falstaff the enormous sum of a thousand pounds on expectation of getting it back when Prince Harry becomes King, so certain is Falstaff of the Prince’s favor. He follows the fat knight to Harry’s coronation, swept away by promises of lordship and who knows what else, and ends up arrested and sent to the Fleet prison.