"The Merry Wives of Windsor", Shakespeare's only thoroughly English comedy, created an archetypal literary figure in the shape of the devious, irrepressible John Falstaff. This stimulating new edition celebrates the play as a joyous exploration of language, but also places elements of its plot firmly in a continental, specifically Italian, tradition of romantic comedy. It draws out the complexities of Merry Wives as a multi-plot play, and takes a fresh and challenging look at both textual and dating issues. The play's extensive performance history, both dramatic and operatic, is fully explored and discussed.
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Written around 1597, critics believe that The Merry Wives of Windsor was written to capitalise on the popular success of the corpulent, knavish Sir John Falstaff in the two parts of Henry IV. Falstaff takes centre stage again in this play, hard up for money and planning to pay off his debts by seducing the wives of two rich citizens, Ford and Page. As in the earlier Henry IV plays, Falstaffs elaborate plans go awry, with disastrous and humiliating consequences. Ford is furious with Falstaff's attempt to woo his wife, whilst both Mistress Ford and Mistress Page have the measure of Falstaff, and repeatedly dupe him, first hiding him in a laundry basket and dumping him in the river, then tormenting him in the forest of Windsor with children disguised as fairies.
Often dismissed as a hasty and mechanical play lacking in depth, The Merry Wives of Windsor is in fact a wonderfully inventive farce. Falstaff is a ludicrous mock hero, dressed as a mythical hunter in the forest, declaiming "powerful love that in some respects makes a beast a man, in some others a man a beast!" Mistress Ford and Page are also great comic creations, witty and resilient women who drive the comedy, no longer "in the holiday time" of beauty, but wise and streetwise women who are always one step ahead of the absurd Falstaff. A greatly underrated play. --Jerry BrottonReview:
"...wonderfully informative introdutory essay." Studies in English Literature
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Book Description Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000. Book Condition: Good. N/A. Ships from Reno, NV. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP88813436
Book Description Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000. Book Condition: Good. N/A. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP57305013
Book Description Thomas Nelson Publishers. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Only lightly used. Book has minimal wear to cover and binding. A few pages may have small creases and minimal underlining. Bookseller Inventory # G0174435282I3N00
Book Description Arden Shakespeare. Book Condition: Acceptable. 1999 - Paperback - Used - Acceptable - - - Shows some shelf-wear. Volume contains one or more of the following: highlighting, underlining or margin notes. However, text is still readable. May contain old price stickers or their residue, inscriptions or dedications from previous owners in first few pages and remainder marks. -. Bookseller Inventory # SO-04-3-0050
Book Description Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: Used: Very Good. Bookseller Inventory # SONG0174435282
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Fair. A readable copy of the book which may include some defects such as highlighting and notes. Cover and pages may be creased and show discolouration. Bookseller Inventory # GOR006688467
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Bookseller Inventory # GOR003396332
Book Description ARDEN SHAKESPEARE PAPERBACKS, 1999. Trade Paperback. Book Condition: Good. TRADE PAPERBACK Legendary independent bookstore online since 1994. Reliable customer service and no-hassle return policy. Arts and Entertainment>Drama>Shakespeare>Plays. Book: USED, Good. Bookseller Inventory # 01978017443528004. Bookseller Inventory # 01978017443528004
Book Description Arden Shakespeare, 1-50, 1999. Softcover. Book Condition: As New. 3rd Series; 7.70 X 5 X 0.90 inches; 364 pages; Never been read, very little shelf wear. Bookseller Inventory # 509528
Book Description Book Condition: Good. Book Condition: Good. Bookseller Inventory # 97801744352804.0