The Merry Wives of Windsor

The Merry Wives of Windsor

I am officially finished with 10% of the plays in the Dramagoon Shakespeare Challenge. On Monday, after nearly 3 weeks, I finally made it through The Merry Wives of Windsor. It was the fourth play in the “challenge” and the last of the initial set of plays that I purchased when starting out on this adventure. I had initially given myself three weeks per play to allow for when other things pop up. This was the only one so far where I needed all three weeks. In fact, I have been averaging close to two weeks per play. For some reason, I had quite a bit of difficulty making it through The Merry Wives of Windsor. If I tried reading it before bed or in a quiet room, I would soon nod off. And this is odd to me because I saw the play several years ago and really found the performance quite exciting.

It is possible that I was affected by the reviews of the play that I had previously seen. Most of them talked about how poorly written this play is. I have to say that I wasn’t wild about reading it. It is rumored that Queen Elizabeth liked Falstaff in Henry IV, Part I and Henry IV, Part II so much that she requested that Shakespeare write a play about Falstaff in love. For some reason, I found reading this one to be dull and boring.

The premise is that this buffoonish, fat knight, Falstaff, think so much of himself that he make romantic overtures by letter to two separate married women in Windsor (Mistresses Page and Ford) and assumes that they will cheat on their husbands to be with a man such as he. He doesn’t count on them confiding this fact to each other and comparing letters. The remainder of the play consists of the two wives finding ways to abuse Falstaff for being so self-important. Shakespeare also adds the “B” plot where Mistress Page’s daughter is courted by three separate men. I’m not actually sure why that is included in this play other than to fill time.

If the rumor about Queen Elizabeth requesting the play is true, I would assume that she might have been very upset. The only person that Falstaff is in love with in this story is himself.

Next up in the challenge is The Taming of the Shrew. I started reading it on Monday night and I like it much better. For those keeping track or wanting to join the challenge, the next one after that will be Troilus and Cressida. Wish me luck on that one. I don’t believe that I even know the premise of the story.


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