Study Guide

The Host in The Merry Wives of Windsor

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The Host

The Host runs a local hangout called the Garter Inn. It's not as seedy as, say, Hooters, but it's not exactly one of those family-friendly joints like Red Robin, either. Like a lot of barkeepers, the Host is down-to-earth, business-minded, and seems to have a pretty good handle on human nature.

He's definitely a man's man and gets along with the all the dudes that come to the tavern. When he talks, he's always got an over-the-top, macho nickname for everyone (like "bully-rook," "Caesar," and "my honest knight"). He also loves friendly (and not-so-friendly trash talk) and uses a ton of English slang. Evidence? Check out how this guy greets his buddies:

Look where my ranting Host of the Garter
comes. There  is either liquor in his pate or money
in his purse when he looks  so merrily.—How now,
mine Host!
How now, bullyrook [fine fellow]? Thou 'rt a gentleman.—
Cavaleiro Justice [Gallant knight], I say!

When the Host isn't working and making money, he loves to have a good time and runs around acting like he's the Ashton Kutcher of Windsor. Whenever there's an opportunity to play a practical joke, the Host is all over it. He's the brains behind the prank that gets played on Evans and Caius, he helps Ford trick Falstaff, and even helps Fenton elope with Anne Page behind her parents' back. In the end, however, the Host gets duped by Caius and Evans, who want revenge on the prank-loving Host.

At times, he seems like a good-natured, fun-loving guy. He gives Bardolph a job when Falstaff can't afford to pay him anymore and he prevents two guys from "hacking" into each other with their swords when Caius challenges Evans to a duel. That said, he's also kind of a jerk. He's got a major problem with foreigners and goes out of his way to mock Caius and Evans because they're not English and have thick accents.

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