1.Date, 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 Shakespeare's 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.
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
- doesn't 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
- Slender's uncle
Mistress Quickly:- Caius' servant
- everyone's messenger
Pistol:- Falstaff's men, who are dismissed by him
And others, like the Host of the Garter Inn, William Page...