The Merry Wives of Windsor (Folger Shakespeare Library)

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9780671722784: The Merry Wives of Windsor (Folger Shakespeare Library)
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Shakespeare's "merry wives" are Mistress Ford and Mistress Page of the town of Windsor. The two play practical jokes on Mistress Ford's jealous husband and a visiting knight, Sir John Falstaff.

Merry wives, jealous husbands, and predatory knights were common in a kind of play called "citizen comedy" or "city comedy." In such plays, courtiers, gentlemen, or knights use social superiority to seduce citizens' wives.

The Windsor wives, though, do not follow that pattern. Instead, Falstaff's offer of himself as lover inspires their torment of him. Falstaff responds with the same linguistic facility that Shakespeare gives him in the history plays in which he appears, making him the "hero" of the play for many audiences.

The authoritative edition of The Merry Wives of Windsor from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, includes:

-Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play
-Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play
-Scene-by-scene plot summaries
-A key to the play's famous lines and phrases
-An introduction to reading Shakespeare's language
-An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play
-Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library's vast holdings of rare books
-An annotated guide to further reading

Essay by Natasha Korda

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, is home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare's printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit Folger.edu.

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Review:

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 Brotton

Review:

"...wonderfully informative introdutory essay." Studies in English Literature

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780671669133: MERRY WIVE WNDSR

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0671669133 ISBN 13:  9780671669133
Publisher: Washington Square Press, 1988
Softcover

9780671731434: Merry Wives of Windsor (Folger Library General Reader's Shakespeare)

Washin..., 1983
Softcover

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Book Description Washington Square Press Inc.,N.Y., United States, 2004. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Shakespeare's "merry wives" are Mistress Ford and Mistress Page of the town of Windsor. The two play practical jokes on Mistress Ford's jealous husband and a visiting knight, Sir John Falstaff. Merry wives, jealous husbands, and predatory knights were common in a kind of play called "citizen comedy" or "city comedy." In such plays, courtiers, gentlemen, or knights use social superiority to seduce citizens' wives. The Windsor wives, though, do not follow that pattern. Instead, Falstaff's offer of himself as lover inspires their torment of him. Falstaff responds with the same linguistic facility that Shakespeare gives him in the history plays in which he appears, making him the "hero" of the play for many audiences. The authoritative edition of The Merry Wives of Windsor from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, includes: -Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play -Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play -Scene-by-scene plot summaries -A key to the play's famous lines and phrases -An introduction to reading Shakespeare's language -An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play -Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library's vast holdings of rare books -An annotated guide to further reading Essay by Natasha Korda The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, is home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare's printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit . Seller Inventory # AAS9780671722784

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Book Description Washington Square Press Inc.,N.Y., United States, 2004. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Shakespeare's "merry wives" are Mistress Ford and Mistress Page of the town of Windsor. The two play practical jokes on Mistress Ford's jealous husband and a visiting knight, Sir John Falstaff. Merry wives, jealous husbands, and predatory knights were common in a kind of play called "citizen comedy" or "city comedy." In such plays, courtiers, gentlemen, or knights use social superiority to seduce citizens' wives. The Windsor wives, though, do not follow that pattern. Instead, Falstaff's offer of himself as lover inspires their torment of him. Falstaff responds with the same linguistic facility that Shakespeare gives him in the history plays in which he appears, making him the "hero" of the play for many audiences. The authoritative edition of The Merry Wives of Windsor from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, includes: -Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play -Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play -Scene-by-scene plot summaries -A key to the play's famous lines and phrases -An introduction to reading Shakespeare's language -An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play -Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library's vast holdings of rare books -An annotated guide to further reading Essay by Natasha Korda The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, is home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare's printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit . Seller Inventory # BZV9780671722784

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