Study Guide

The Merry Wives of Windsor Act 3, Scene 1

By William Shakespeare

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Act 3, Scene 1

Read the full text of The Merry Wives of Windsor Act 3 Scene 1 with a side-by-side translation HERE.

  • Over at Frogmore fields, Evans has been waiting for Caius to show up. He's carrying a big sword and a Bible. (They go together like peanut butter and jelly.)
  • Simple is there, too, and Evans sends him off to look for Caius.
  • Evans whips open his bible and declares "Jeshu pless me" (translation: Jesus, bless me), right before swearing to God that he's going to knock Caius's "urinals about his knave's costard."
  • Then, for some reason he starts singing a popular love song. (Is it just us, or is Evans just a bit nervous?)
  • Simple shows up with Shallow and Page who proceed to make fun of Evans for holding a bible and sword at the same time.
  • Then the Host appears with John Rugby and Doctor Caius.
  • Okay, is everyone here? Caius and Evans draw their swords...
  • But, before anyone can stab anyone else in the guts, Shallow and Page step in and take away their weapons. (What? This is Windsor, not the mean streets of Verona. No one's dying in this one.)
  • The Host says the guys would be better off "hacking our English" instead of hacking into each others' body parts. In other words, the Host can't stand the sound of Caius' and Evans' foreign accents but that doesn't mean he wants them kill each other. Plus, trash talk is more fun than physical violence.
  • Caius and Evans both have a "You're so lucky they just took away my sword" kind of moment and act like they actually want to fight.
  • Everyone leaves, except for Slender, Caius, and Evans. Evans and Caius whisper to each other that the Host is just messing with them and trying to make them look foolish.
  • They agree to be friends and vow to get revenge.
  • Meanwhile, Slender has been standing around sighing and carrying on about "sweet Anne Page."
  • Hmm. If Slender loves Anne so much, why was he going to let his friend Evans fight over her with Doctor Caius? We call shenanigans.

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