The Merry Wives of Windsor

by: William Shakespeare

Act I, Scenes iii-iv

Commentary

Much double-dealing begins in this scene. Falstaff's henchmen decide to tell Ford and Page of his plan to seduce their wives, while Quickly plays Slender, Caius, and Fenton with promises that she can influence Anne's choice of husband. Servants turn against their masters and drinking buddies turn against their ringleader, each attempting to influence events to their own benefit.

The scene where a French-accented Caius finds Simple in the closet is nearly pure slapstick. However, rather than beating Simple as an audience might expect, Caius sends Simple away with threats against Evans. Caius, like Evans, seems more foolish than even his actions indicate, merely because of his exaggerated accent.


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