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William Shakespeare The Merry Wives of Windsor 1Date models additional information Probably written in 1597-8 Shakespeare wrote The merry Wives because the Queen wanted to see Falstaff in love Falstaff which she knew from an earlier work of Shakespeare Henry IV Merry Wives is Shakespeares most middle-class play in setting subject matter and outlook Merry Wives gives an impression of life in an English provincial town It refers to older plays the main plot resembles Il Pecorone an Italian play Though the play does contain characters both above and below the middle class everything functions to demonstrate the power of the middle class 2The characters Mistress Ford - married to the jealous Mr Ford - friend of Mistress Page Mistress Page- married to Mr Page - friend of Mistress Ford Sir John Falstaff- knight but also a scoundrel and thief - energetic lively cowardly funny and mischievous fat not very handsome - thinks he can get away with seducing married women in order to gain access to their husbands cash Frank Ford- very jealous of his wife George Page- not jealous of his wife Sir Hugh Evans- the local pastor from Wales Doctor Caius- local doctor from France - wants to marry Anne Page Mistress Page favours him Anne Page- daughter of George Page and Mistress Page - doesnt want to marry the idiots her parents want her to she chooses Fenton Fenton- young gentleman in favour of Anne Page Slender- 3rd suitor for Anne Page - unable to speak anything but nonsense to Anne Shallow- country justice - Slenders uncle Mistress Quickly- Caius servant - everyones messenger Bardolph Nym Pistol- Falstaffs men who are dismissed by him And others like the Host of the Garter
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