Study Guide

The Merry Wives of Windsor Act 1, Scene 2

By William Shakespeare

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Act 1, Scene 2

Read the full text of The Merry Wives of Windsor Act 1 Scene 2 with a side-by-side translation HERE.

  • After dinner, Evans sends a servant named Peter Simple to hand-deliver a letter to a woman named Mistress Quickly.
  • Since Mistress Quickly is chummy with Anne Page, Evans wants her to talk to Anne about marrying Slender. (Apparently, Windsor is just like junior high school, only with marriages instead of mash notes.)
  • We find out that Mistress Quickly is the servant of a guy named Doctor Caius and lives at his house.
  • Then Evans decides to let us in on a little gossip: apparently, Mistress Quickly doesn't just do Doctor Caius's laundry and cooking.
  • She's also his "oman" (that's how Evans says "woman" with his thick Welsh accent). In other words, Mistress Quickly is probably sleeping with her boss.
  • Brain Snack: In Henry IV Part 1, Mistress Quickly isn't a servant—she's the hostess of the Boar's Head Tavern, which is the kind of seedy bar where criminals and prostitutes hang out. Since The Merry Wives of Windsor is basically a spin-off of Henry IV Part 1, Shakespeare would have expected his audience to know all about Mistress Quickly's shady ways.

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