The Merry Wives of Windsor

The Merry Wives of Windsor

3.55 (7,256 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback
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"The Merry Wives of Windsor" was almost certainly required at short notice for a court occasion in 1597. Shakespeare put into it the same creative energy that went into his Henry IV plays. Falstaff is here, with Pistol, Mistress Quickly, and Justice Shallow, in a spirited "citizen comedy". Boisterous action is combined with situational irony and rich characterization. In his introduction, T.W.Craik discusses the play's probable occasion (the Garter Feast of 1597 at court), its relationship to Shakespeare's English history plays and to other sources, its textual history (with particular reference to the widely diverging 1623 Folio and 1602 Quarto), and its original quality as drama. He assesses various interpretations of the play: topical, critical, and theatrical. In the commentary he pays particular attention to expounding the literal sense (he proposes some new readings) and evoking the stage business.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 120 x 190mm | 237g
  • Oxford Paperbacks
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 5 halftones, 2 line drawings
  • 0192814575
  • 9780192814579

Table of contents

Shakespeare's Garter Play: The occasion and the date of The Merry Wives of Windsor; Shakespeare's English Comedy: The substance and the dramatic structure of the play; Interpretations, critical and theatrical, of the play; The quarto and folio texts; Editorial procedures; "The Merry Wives of Windsor". Appendices: The Textual Crux at 1.1.20-1; Evan's Song in Act 3, Scene 1; Falstaff's Disguise as Herne the Hunter; Alterations to Lineation of the Folio.
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Rating details

7,256 ratings
3.55 out of 5 stars
5 19% (1,404)
4 32% (2,317)
3 36% (2,598)
2 11% (785)
1 2% (152)
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