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Quotes

Quote #7

I would my husband would meet him in this shape: he cannot abide the old woman of Brentford; he swears she's a witch; forbade her my house and hath threatened to beat her. (4.2.70)

Before you start getting too excited about how Shakespeare is just like us, let us share this quote: the merry wives plot to dress Falstaff up like an old woman so Master Ford can beat her. Hilarious! Except not. Don't beat up old ladies, Shmoopers. It's really not cool, even if it's for a good cause.

Quote #8

Sir John! Art thou there, my deer, my male deer? (5.5.14-15)

Here, Falstaff is duped into wearing horns and dressing up like "Herne the Hunter" so the women can embarrass him in front of the whole community of Windsor. Funny thing is, some towns actually punished men whose wives cheated on them by putting a set of horns in the guy's front yard—you know, for not keeping their wives under control. So, we might say that Shakespeare gives the popular form of punishment an ironic twist here.

Quote #9

I came yonder at Eton to marry Mistress Anne Page, and she's a great lubberly boy. If it had not been i'th' church, I would have swinged him, or he should have swinged me. (5.5.169-171)

Slender thinks he's going to pull a fast one by sneaking off with Anne during the confusion of the fairy dance in the woods but he's the one who ends up getting duped. (Along with Caius, who also winds up eloping with a "boy.")

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