The Merry Wives of Windsor | Rosemary Kegl

This literature criticism consists of approximately 38 pages of analysis & critique of The Merry Wives of Windsor.
This section contains 11,321 words
(approx. 38 pages at 300 words per page)
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Rosemary Kegl

SOURCE: "'The Adoption of Abominable Terms': The Insults That Shape Windsor's Middle Class," in ELH, Vol. 61, No. 2, Summer, 1994, pp. 253-78.

In the essay that follows, Kegl notes that the specific insults traded by the characters within the play serve to define various social groups and hierarchies within Elizabethan society.

I

I take the title of this essay from Francis Ford's first soliloquy in The Merry Wives of Windsor.1 Misconstruing his wife's merriment as unfaithfulness, the distracted Ford laments:

See the hell of having a false woman! My bed shall be abus'd, my coffers ransack'd, my reputation gnawn at, and I shall not only receive this villainous wrong, but stand under the adoption of abominable terms, and by him that does me this wrong. Terms! names! Amaimon sounds well; Lucifer, well; Barbason, well; yet they are devils' additions, the names of fiends; but Cuckold! Wittol!—Cuckold...

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This section contains 11,321 words
(approx. 38 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Rosemary Kegl