Shakespeare has obviously got a thing for writing about the dangers of male sexual jealousy. In The Merry Wives of Windsor, a mistrustful husband learns that another man plans to seduce his wife. The wife is faithful, of course, but the husband believes that all women are dishonest and, therefore, all wives cheat on their husbands. Basically, 16th and 17th century literature reads like a Men's Rights pamphlet, full of anxiety about cheating and lying women. If this were another play, we'd be in for a blood bath. But here, we're just in for a good time. In the play, a jealous husband becomes a figure of comedy when his wife exploits his suspicions in order to make him look foolish in front of the entire community. LOL!
Master Ford's insane jealousy is pretty typical of 16th and 17th century attitudes. When Shakespeare wrote The Merry Wives of Windsor, the Elizabethans were obsessed with the threat of female promiscuity.
Even though the play is full of male anxieties about promiscuous women, it ultimately tells us that male jealousy is sexist and also unfair to women.