Study Guide

The Merry Wives of Windsor Act 3, Scene 4

By William Shakespeare

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Act 3, Scene 4

Read the full text of The Merry Wives of Windsor Act 3 Scene 4 with a side-by-side translation HERE.

  • Outside Master Page's house, Anne and dreamy Fenton get cozy and talk about their future together.
  • Fenton is bummed out that Anne's dad hates him and won't let him marry his daughter.
  • Fenton tells Anne that her dad doesn't like him because he thinks he's a spoiled brat who wasted all his money and wants to marry Anne because she's rich. Plus, Master Page isn't crazy about Fenton's misspent youth.
  • Hmm, Master Page might have a point.
  • Fenton confesses that, yeah, at first, he only wanted Anne for her dough but now that he's gotten to know her, he's fallen in love.
  • Fenton swears up and down that he loves Anne for herself and thinks she's worth much more than a giant bag of "gold."
  • Anne encourages Fenton to take another crack at her dad. Who knows? Maybe Master Page will change his mind. (Yeah, right.)
  • Just then, Slender, Shallow, and Mistress Quickly show up: Slender wants to talk to Anne.
  • We find out that Master Page wants Anne to marry Slender because Slender's loaded.
  • Mistress Quickly distracts Fenton as Slender tries to flirt with Anne.
  • Slender has zero game with the ladies, so Shallow tries to help him out. He says Anne will be living large if she marries Slender.
  • Plus, if he dies, she gets a big widow's pension.
  • Anne is not impressed. She warns Shallow that he should let Slender "woo for himself."
  • Fed up, Anne confronts Slender and asks him what he wants from her.
  • Slender says "I would little or nothing with you" (translation: he doesn't actually want anything from her), and points out that Anne's dad and his uncle are the ones who want him to marry her.
  • See? We told you Slender's got no game.
  • Master and Mistress Page show up and get mad when they see Fenton.
  • Master Page tells Fenton to scram and says he'll never let Anne marry him.
  • When Master Page leaves, Mistress Quickly tells Fenton to talk to Anne's mom.
  • He does, telling her how much he loves her daughter, and Anne pipes in with "Please don't marry me off to a fool." (That would be Slender).
  • Mistress Page says she won't. She has her eye on Doctor Caius.
  • Anne says she'd rather be buried alive than marry that guy.
  • Mistress Page orders Fenton to go home and takes Anne inside the house, promising to ask who she does want to marry.
  • Mistress Quickly gives us a little aside that she likes Fenton the best, but she's still going to help out all of Anne's suitors.
  • Because why? Oh, why not. She's probably getting money and trinkets from them all. 
  • Then Mistress Quickly runs off to relay a message to Falstaff from Mistress Ford and Mistress Page.

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