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Analysis

Literary Devices in The Merry Wives of Windsor

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Setting

If you've been paying attention then you already know that this play is set in Windsor, England—a rural town southwest of London. It turns out this is a pretty big deal because The Merry Wives of...

Genre

Look. We're not going to argue with you if you want to say that The Merry Wives of Windsor is just like your favorite TV sitcom or a classic "farce." We won't even argue with you if you say it's li...

Tone

Shakespeare didn't name his play "The Bitter Wives of Windsor" or "The Vengeful Wives of Windsor." And there's a good reason for that. Even though Shakespeare explores some potentially weighty them...

Writing Style

Usually, Shakespeare gives his plays a healthy dose of verse (mostly iambic pentameter). But, The Merry Wives of Windsor is different because it has more prose than any other Shakespeare play. (Pro...

What's Up With the Title?

If you want to see two ladies running around some royal court or an expensive foreign city, go read Twelfth Night. The Merry Wives of Windsor is more Gilmore Girls than Gossip Girl: our wives are d...

What's Up With the Ending?

If this comedy were a ride at the county fair, it would totally be a Tilt-a-Whirl. Shakespeare loves to turn the world on its head and revel in the chaos. And we're not going to lie to you. We love...

Tough-o-Meter

Listen, Shmooperinos. Merry Wives is a crowd favorite for a reason. It's fun, light-hearted, and pretty easy to follow… once you get used to the fact that Shakespeare's got a thing for multiple p...

Plot Analysis

Hey LadiesSure, Falstaff's a knight but the guy doesn't have any money—a major problem, since Falstaff's love of food, booze, and women requires lots of cash. He sends identical love letters to t...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Falstaff Thinks He's a Player and Master Ford Is Certain His Wife's a CheaterAccording to Booker, "in the first stage we see a little world in which people have passed under a shadow of confusion,...

Three-Act Plot Analysis

Falstaff is low on cash, so he hatches a plot to seduce the wives of two rich citizens in Windsor, England. After all, says Falstaff, both women have been giving him "good eyes" and checking out hi...

Trivia

Shakespeare + Cows = More Milk. Seriously. A group of English farmers say their dairy cows produced 4% more milk after listening to actors perform scenes from The Merry Wives of Windsor. (source)...

Steaminess Rating

Like just about every other Shakespeare play, The Merry Wives of Windsor is chock-full of dirty jokes and sexual innuendo. But, unless you're the kind of person who would enjoy watching this guy tr...

Allusions

Ser Giovanni Fiorentino, Il Pecorone (1378). In the second story of Il Pecorone, a young student asks his professor for advice about how to seduce a lady he's fallen in love with. Turns out that la...
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