Search Menu

The Merry Wives of Windsor

William Shakespeare

Contents

Act I, Scenes i-ii

page 2 of 2

Act I, Scenes i-ii

Page 1

Page 2

Act I, Scenes i-ii

Act I, Scenes i-ii

Act I, Scenes i-ii

This play's mostly middle-class characters are introduced in their small-town milieu, and immediately we are introduced to the main struggles of this comedy. The main thrust of Elizabethan comedy is usually marriage, and the possible marriage of Anne Page and Slender is the early goal of Shallow and Evans. But the relationship between couples who are already married is also a focus, namely the pairs of Ford and Page and their wives.

Meanwhile, Falstaff and his mischievous drinking buddies make their entrance, having already been up to no good before this scene. Falstaff is a knight, thus of a higher rank than most of Windsor's natives, and he takes advantage of his position to torment the locals. Falstaff appeared first in Shakespeare's Henry IV, part 1 and Henry IV, part 2, and his sidekicks continue on into Henry V . This scene-stealing drunken jokester, pal of the young Prince Henry, is said to have so impressed Queen Elizabeth that she asked Shakespeare to write another play for Falstaff, which became Merry Wives of Windsor. Falstaff receives no better treatment in this play, being mocked and tricked at every turn while he tries to seduce Mistresses Page and Ford.

Shallow, Evans, and later Caius form a second maligned group; they are the mocked public figures. Evans is a Welsh clergyman, and he speaks with an accent that the other English characters can't bear. Caius is a Frenchman who speaks in fragments of English and French. And Shallow is an incompetent man of the law.

Mistresses Page and Ford and their husbands form the third group. The two women are inseparable and irrepressible; they are the "merry wives" of the title. Their project to humiliate Falstaff overlaps with their aim to educate their husbands that wives can be both merry and honorable.

Page 1

Page 2

More Help

Previous Next
Merry Wives

by louisehaim, February 15, 2014

Act 1 Scene 1 Slender. In the county of Gloucester, justice of peace and 5
'Coram.'

Robert Shallow. Ay, cousin Slender, and 'Custalourum.

Slender. Ay, and 'Rato-lorum' too;

three veneys for a
dish of stewed prunes; 265

Act 1 scene 3

I will
be cheater to them both, and they shall be
exchequers to me; they shall be my East and West
Indies, and I will trade to them both.

Act 1 scene 4

shent - put to shame

0 Comments

2 out of 2 people found this helpful

essay help

by josephbanks, August 10, 2017

My experience with essay services has generally been very positive. I requested a writer from

https://digitalessay.net

to write my English essay on Jane Eyre because I was really short on time (that week my family had to move houses unexpectedly and I had no time whatsoever to sit down at a computer and do work.) Needless to say the services were good and my essay was done really quickly. The writer that I picked followed directions well. Of course, if you can do it yourself, th... Read more

Great play.

by MariaDPettiford, October 26, 2017

Amazing play by William Shakespeare. Recommend reading to everyone!

https://spying.ninja/webwatcher/