Shakespeare/Merry Wives Of Windsor term paper 12506

Shakespeare term papers
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The first thing that struck me about The Merry Wives of Windsor was the

appearance of some characters from Henry VI: Falstaff, Bardolph, Nym, and

Pistol. The second thing that struck me was the complexity of the plot.

Shakespeare is tough enough for me to understand on its own, without the

introduction of a plots that twist and turn, and entwine each other like snakes.

I wish I could see the play performed, because it seems like a delightful

comedy, and I feel that seeing actual players going through the motions

presented to me in the text would do wonders for my comprehension. This is my

first play read outside of class, with no real discussion to help me through the

parts that don’t make a lot of sense the first time around. Fortunately, I

found some resources on the web that provided synopses of Shakespeare’s plays,

and really aided my understanding of the play. The aforementioned plots reminded

me of the plots common to Seinfeld, quite possibly the most glorious of

television shows. Seinfeld always had at least two plots going per episode, and

the outcome of one always seemed to have some effect on the outcome of the

other. It seems that the original recipe for sitcoms is this: get two plots

going side by side, near the end of the piece, smash them into each other, and

then tie up all of the loose ends. This recipe is followed in The Taming of the

Shrew (the two plots being the marriage of Petruchio and Katherine, and the

wooing of Bianca), and again appears in the Merry Wives of Windsor (Falstaff’s

attempted wooing of the wives being one, and the impending marriage of Anne

being the other.) It would be interesting to see if all of Shakespeare’s

comedies follow this same pattern, and if so, to see if previous playwrights

used the same formula. The appearance of the characters from Henry VI,

especially Falstaff, was also quite interesting. For some reason, seeing the

other characters shared by the plays didn’t do quite as much for me as seeing

Falstaff. Perhaps I identify with Falstaff more than the others (a rather

damning proposition, considering what I’m about to write), but I think it’s

more likely due to the fact that Falstaff is more prominent that the others.

Knowing that Falstaff was a gay lover in Henry VI, and seeing him involved in

obviously heterosexual pursuits, I was reminded of our conversation in class

concerning the views of sex in Elizabethan times, compared to our current views

on the subject. I feel that seeing Falstaff in this play gives me a lot more

insight into the character Shakespeare was trying to create for his audiences

than Falstaff’s appearances that we have seen in class. Falstaff really gave

me the impression of being a scoundrel in this play, plotting to commit

adultery, and then add insult to injury by stealing money from the husbands of

the adulterous wives. He’s accused at the beginning of the play for getting

Slender drunk to pick his purse, and he hires off his “friend” Bardolph as a

bartender. Finally, as a result of all of this, Falstaff ends up the butt of a

practical joke. Everyone ends up forgiving everyone else, and they all go home

to live happily ever after, and laugh about the events they have just gone

through. If that last sentence seems lacking, it’s with reason. I was

relatively disappointed with the way the play ended. It seemed to me like

Shakespeare decided he was finished writing, and looked for the quickest way to

end his play. It was one step better than the Greek’s method of having one of

the Gods come down from Olympus, and decide who married who, who died honorably,

and who was damned to Hades. I felt that The Taming of the Shrew ended much more



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