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The Merry Wives of Windsor

The Merry Wives of Windsor


by William Shakespeare

The Merry Wives of Windsor Language and Communication Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line)

Quote #4

[...] A word, Monsieur

Mockvater! vat is dat?

Mockwater, in our English tongue, is valour, bully.

By gar, den, I have as much mockvater as de
Englishman. (2.3.49-554)

When the Host calls Doctor Caius "Monsieur Mockwater," he's basically saying that Caius is sterile, and therefore lacks courage. The Host is also having fun with the fact that Doctor Caius is a Frenchman who isn't familiar with a lot of English slang. That's why the Host lies and is all "Mockwater just means that you're courageous!" (And Doctor Caius falls right into his trap when he declares that he's full of "mockvater.") In fact, the Host uses a bunch of slang terms throughout this entire scene in order to make Caius look like a fool.

Quote #5

[...] let them keep their limbs whole and hack our English. (3.1.66-67)

Obviously, the Host thinks it's more fun to listen to the two foreigners (Caius and Evans) butcher the English language than it is to watch them "hack" into each with their swords. That's why he prevents them from fighting a duel. The Host figures, hey—why let them kill each other when it's so much more fun to mock them every time they speak? See what we mean when we say this play has got a thing for ragging on foreigners?

Quote #6

If there be one or two, I shall make-a the turd. (3.3.200)

There are a couple of things Shakespeare just can't seem to resist: 1) potty humor and 2) making the French look/sound silly. That's why we're not really surprised when Doctor Caius accidentally refers to himself as a "turd" instead of the "third" member of a bird-hunting party.

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