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October 20, 2017 12:00 AM Romeo and Juliet
October 30, 2015 12:00 AM And Now for the Romantic Quotes from Henry V...
October 25, 2015 12:00 AM To Mark the 600th Anniversary Of The Battle of Agincourt...
October 19, 2015 12:00 AM More Great Quotes From Henry V
October 14, 2015 12:00 AM Favorite Quotes From Henry V
October 8, 2015 12:00 AM Henry V
July 30, 2015 12:00 AM Last Of the Quotes From A Midsummer Night;s Dream.
July 23, 2015 12:00 AM Even More Great Quotes From A Midsummer Night's Dream
July 16, 2015 12:00 AM More Great Quotes From A Midsummer Night's Dream
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July 1, 2015 12:00 AM A Midsummer Night's Dream
May 6, 2015 12:00 AM The Two Noble Kinsmen
April 2, 2015 12:00 AM A Few More Quotes From Hamlet
March 4, 2015 12:00 AM Favorite Quotes From Hamlet
February 21, 2015 12:00 AM A Twist on Hamlet-“Haider” A Movie Review
February 12, 2015 12:00 AM Hamlet-The Play
August 22, 2014 12:00 AM More Quotes from King John
August 14, 2014 12:00 AM King John
March 12, 2013 12:00 AM The Globe Theatre
September 19, 2012 12:00 AM Great Quotes from a Fun Play!
September 6, 2012 12:00 AM September’s Play of the Month: Love’s Labour’s Lost
August 24, 2012 12:00 AM A Short History Lesson and a Few More Great Quotes!
August 7, 2012 12:00 AM A Few Great Quotes
August 1, 2012 12:00 AM Augusts' Play of the Month: The Merry Wives of Windsor
July 25, 2012 12:00 AM Are you in need of a great Insult?
June 10, 2012 12:00 AM More great quotes from Measure for Measure:
May 25, 2012 12:00 AM Great Quotes from the play Measure for Measure
May 14, 2012 12:00 AM Measure for Measure
May 4, 2012 12:00 AM Trivia Answer from February
April 22, 2012 12:00 AM Elizabethan Dinner Party
March 28, 2012 12:00 AM A Few More Great Quotes Before the Month Ends
March 21, 2012 12:00 AM A Few More Great Quotes!
March 13, 2012 12:00 AM Seven Stages of Life
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February 14, 2012 12:00 AM New quote and Trivia Question
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February 1, 2012 12:00 AM February's Play of the Month
January 27, 2012 12:00 AM Poll Results
January 17, 2012 12:00 AM Still More Richard III
December 16, 2011 12:00 AM #2
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December 2, 2011 12:00 AM Richard III
November 19, 2011 12:00 AM What is your favorite part of the play???
November 14, 2011 12:00 AM This Weeks Trivia Question!
November 10, 2011 12:00 AM New Quote from
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November 4, 2011 12:00 AM A Great Quote from The Taming of the Shrew!
November 1, 2011 12:00 AM New Contest!
October 31, 2011 12:00 AM The Winner Is...
October 22, 2011 12:00 AM Anonymous-My Review
October 26, 2011 12:00 AM Great Shakespeare Quotes!
October 19, 2011 12:00 AM Contest and RichardIII
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October 7, 2011 12:00 AM Free Contest Giveaway to Kick Off Our New Blog!!!
October 5, 2011 12:00 AM The Plays the Thing!
Augusts' Play of the Month: The Merry Wives of Windsor August 1, 2012 12:00 AM | Tagged as Merry wifes, Utah Shakespeare
Tradition states that Sir John Falstaff, featured in the Henry IV and V plays, was Queen Elizabeth I’s favorite character, so she asked Shakespeare to write a comedic play about Falstaff falling in love. She may have commissioned part if not all of it for the Garter Feast, which celebrates her knights, and which was held at Westminster on April 23, 1597.
It is the only Shakespeare play that takes place entirely in England. There are many comparisons between the Falstaff of the Henry IV plays and The Merry Wives of Windsor, because Falstaff and his friends are completely different when taken from the battle fields, and into the town of Windsor, where the wives are chaste and the husbands are outsmarted.
It is also the first notable play in the English language where we can engage in the middle class lives of the main characters. Chaucer did it in his narrative The Canterbury Tales, two hundred years before this, but in plays, the lower born classes usually played a secondary role to the nobles or aristocrats in plays. Also, there are actual locations in the play that existed in Windsor at the time the play was written.
The characters and action may have been drawn from real Elizabethan Windsor, but be careful; the drama should not be mistaken at historical! While these middle class residents of Windsor may seem quite immature to us, their amusing antics are justified in a neat moral conclusion to the play. This play shows that housewives can have fun and still be honest. But Falstaff is never completely domesticated which isn’t the real point of this enjoyable play anyway.
There is no known source for the play but Shakespeare most likely drew plots and settings from various short and crude stories called fabliaux (pronounced fab-lee-OH). These French stories were full of jealous spouses, surprised lovers, and outrageous sexual exploits. These first appeared in the 13th century but gained more popularity, first in Italy where they made their way into plays, and that may have been the inspiration for Shakespeare in his play. However, the wives of Shakespeare’s play do not have the enormous sexual appetites and guilt-free consciences like those of their French counterparts. The Windsor wives stay chaste and merry even in the face of many opportunities to make fools of their husbands.
This play has been set is every time-frame that is possible; from post-Civil War North Carolina, Eisenhower’s suburban America during the 1950’s, to Margaret Thatcher’s. It has been adapted to film, including 2 silent films, and television productions. There has also been two Italian Operas and one Viennese operetta based on the play.
The charm that repersents The Merry Wives of Windsor is the oyster with a pearl inside, and the quote is:
“Why, then the world's mine oyster. Which I with sword will open.” (a2s2)
Take the opportunity to find a company performing this play. The Utah Shakespeare Festival is showing it this summer and I will be reviewing it next week after I see it. Let me know if it is showing in your area and I will share it with our followers. Thanks!