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The Merry Wives of Windsor

William Shakespeare

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Suggested Essay Topics

Suggested Essay Topics

Suggested Essay Topics

Suggested Essay Topics

Consider the role of social class in this play. How are characters marked as lower-, middle-, or upper-class? What happens to this hierarchy as the play progresses? Is class dealt with differently here than in other Shakespeare plays you have read?

Consider nationality in this play. How are some characters marked as being different than others? How are they treated? Is the distinction fair? How is nationality dealt with differently than in other Shakespeare plays you have read?

Comment on trickery in this play. Does every schemer win one round, only to lose another one later? Does any scheme really pay off? Done any scheme always fail?

Discuss the women in this play, including Mistress Ford, Mistress Page, Mistress Quickly, and Anne Page. What kind of freedom or autonomy do they have? What do the "merry wives" teach us?

Consider marriage as it is portrayed in this play. Discuss the range between proposals of marriage to long-standing relationships. Is there an overarching theme to the idea of marriage here represented?

Think about instances of cross-dressing and gender confusion in this play. What role do you think these scenes play in terms of themes of the play?

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