As luck would have it Introduction
I'm Falstaff. I'm a larger-than-life guy who's always looking for a good time. I'll even lie, cheat, and steal to get a pile of cash or a good drink or two (or twenty). And you know what I think?
You shall hear. As good luck would have it, comes
in one Mistress Page; gives intelligence of Ford's
approach; and, in her invention and Ford's wife's
distraction, they conveyed me into a buck-basket. (3.5.76-79)
Who Said It and Where
Over at the local watering hole, Garter Inn, Falstaff and Master Ford are sharing a pint. Master Ford is afraid his wife is cheating on him. Since there's no Ryan's Roses, Maury, or Jerry Springer, Ford goes for the Elizabethan version. He disguises himself as a guy named "Brooke" (cool name, bro) so he can catch his wife in the act.
Back at the pub, "Brooke" sits down at the bar next to Falstaff and pretends to be Falstaff's BFF and newest drinking buddy. He really just wants the deets on what's going on between Falstaff and his wife.
Luckily, Falstaff tells "Brooke" about what happened to him earlier at the Ford house. We'll recap for you: Ford is right that something shady is going on, but he's way off about what it is. Falstaff has decided to put the moves on Mistress Ford and her friend, Mistress Page, but for some very sneaky reasons. See, the housewives have total access to their husbands' money so Falstaff thinks he can solve all his financial troubles by luring them into bed with a couple of super-steamy (okay, super-cheesy) love notes.
There's just one hitch. Mistress Page and Mistress Ford are BFFs, which means they tell each other everything. They've hatched a plan of their own to teach Falstaff a lesson he won't forget. They don't want to cheat on their husbands. They just want to have a little fun by making Falstaff think that they do.
Falstaff shows up at Mistress Ford's house looking to score. When Master Ford comes home, the wives stash the "fat" knight in a basket of stinky laundry that hasn't been washed in months and then dump it—and him—into the Thames River. Punk'd.
Falstaff recounts this experience to "Brooke" (a.k.a. Ford). Ford is livid but tries to keep a straight face. He finally has the evidence he needs to prove his wife is cheating… Not.