© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.


Character Role Analysis


Hello. Falstaff's the guy who's out to tarnish the reputations of our "merry wives" while he cons them out of their husbands' money. He's definitely the antagonist, right? Well, maybe.

The Merry Wives

Wait a minute. If you think Falstaff is the play's true protagonist, that would make the "merry wives" of Windsor the play's antagonists, right? After all, Mistress Page and Mistress Ford are the ones who put the brakes on his efforts to seduce them. They're also the ones who humiliate him publicly and repeatedly. Come to think of it, maybe the whole town of Windsor could be considered one big, collective antagonist. By the end of the play, it seems like everyone is out to get Falstaff.