The Merry Wives of Windsor – The Merry Wives of Windsor is a comedy.
Play Link: Merry Wives of Windsor
1. Thee Merry Wives of Windsor is entirely different from other Shakespeare plays in that it focuses on the everyday life of middle-class people. (Other plays center on kings, queens, emperors, nobles, wealthy aristocrats, etc.) Does this difference manifest itself in the dialogue of the play—or in any other aspect of the play?
2. What was life like for middle-class Englishmen in Shakespeare’s time?
3. Who’s the real protagonist of this play? Falstaff? Or the “merry wives”?
4. To what extent does The Merry Wives poke fun at the love of money? In researching your answer, you may wish to start with these lines:
JUSTICE SHALLOW: Did her grandsire leave her seven hundred pound?
SIR HUGH EVANS: Ay, and her father is make her a petter [better] penny.
JUSTICE SHALLOW: I know the young gentlewoman; she has good gifts.
SIR HUGH EVANS: Seven hundred pounds and possibilities is goot [good] gifts. (1.1.23-26)
5. 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?
To get a good grade on this assignment you need to give well thought out answers, cite specific examples from the play, and cite outside resources as needed.