The Merry Wives of Windsor | Critical Essay by Anne Parten

This literature criticism consists of approximately 22 pages of analysis & critique of The Merry Wives of Windsor.
This section contains 6,323 words
(approx. 22 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Anne Parten

SOURCE: "Falstaff s Horns: Masculine Inadequacy and Feminine Mirth in The Merry Wives of Windsor," in Studies in Philology, Vol. LXXXII, No. 2, Spring, 1985, pp. 184-99.

In the following essay, Parten asserts that Falstaff is not punished for his lust or sexual desire, but for threatening the approved concept of male dominance over women.

What shall he have who killed the deer? In The Merry Wives of Windsor, the culprit—as identified by the incensed Justice Shallow of the play's first scene—may not inherit the deer's leather coat, but he certainly does acquire his ambiguous horns to wear. The final scene of the comedy, the masque-like interlude in Windsor Forest, is dominated by the image of Falstaff in the fantastical garb the merry wives have tricked him into wearing: he has come to the midnight assignation costumed as...

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This section contains 6,323 words
(approx. 22 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Anne Parten