The Merry Wives of Windsor

William Shakespeare

The Merry Wives of Windsor, by William Shakespeare - click to see full size image

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The Merry Wives of Windsor is a comedy by William Shakespeare. Originally published in 1602, the play features the character of John Falstaff, the buffoonish knight who also appeared in Henry IV, Part 1 and Part 2. In The Merry Wives of Windsor, Falstaff arrives in Windsor and in a bid to improve his poor financial situation, decides to court two wealthy married women, Mistress Ford and Mistress Page. However, after writing two identical love letters for them, his servants betray him by telling his plan to the women's husbands. The women meanwhile, after receiving the letters, consort with each other and, having no interest in Falstaff, devise a plan to gain revenge on him for his indecent assumptions towards them. A second plot involves Mistress Page's daughter Anne, who is being wooed by several men. In the end, Falstaff learns a lesson and love triumphs. It is said that this play was written after Queen Elizabeth I saw the Henry IV plays and asked Shakespeare to write a play showing Falstaff in love.

Part of the Encyclopaedia Britannica’s Great Books of the Western World set.

This book has 23,460 words, 106 pages in the PDF version, and was originally written in 1602.

Production notes: This ebook of The Merry Wives of Windsor was published by Global Grey in 2018, and was updated on the 10th July 2022. The artwork used for the cover is 'Falstaff at Herne's Oak' by James Stephanoff.

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