The Merry Wives of Windsor | Critical Essay by A. L. Bennett

This literature criticism consists of approximately 7 pages of analysis & critique of The Merry Wives of Windsor.
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SOURCE: Bennett, A. L. “The Sources of Shakespeare's Merry Wives.Renaissance Quarterly 23, no. 4 (winter 1970): 429-33.

In the following essay, Bennett contends that Shakespeare based The Merry Wives of Windsor on Ralph Roister Doister, an old English comedy.

It is a commonplace of criticism that the Falstaff of The Merry Wives of Windsor is an altogether different comic from the ready and resourceful, the irrepressible Sir John of Henry IV. Could it have been otherwise? If the Queen wished to see Falstaff ‘in love,’ that would mean unsuccessfully in love, and nothing would do but to make Falstaff an amorous buffoon taken in repeatedly by transparent devices and exposed to the ridicule of ordinary minds. The tradition of the Queen's command aside, making Falstaff the dupe in a domestic comedy would require a radical change in character. And had...

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This section contains 1,905 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by A. L. Bennett
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Literature Criticism Series
Critical Essay by A. L. Bennett from Literature Criticism Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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