Good Gifts: Money or Talents?

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"Shallow.  I know the young gentlewoman.  She has good gifts.

Evans.  Seven hundred pounds and possibilities is goot gifts."

                          -From William Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor

I thought that these lines show just how clever Shakespeare was at creating plays on words.  Here, the men obviously mean "good gifts" as in a good inheritance or dowry; however, it could also mean good talents.  If someone passed them on the street and heard them talking about Anne Page's "good gifts," they would think the men were merely complementing her ladylike talents instead of plotting to marry her for her fortune.  From what I have seen so far, I think we will encounter many more instances of Shakespeare's witty play on words throughout the rest of the play. 



Ally Hall said:

While I think you may be right that it could be just a play on words, I think here, given the characters and what we've seen of them so far, they're merely commenting on Anne's chances for a good inheritance. I think these characters just want money and they're willing to do whatever - and marry whomever - it takes to get more money.

Kaitlin Monier said:

This quote is very witty, and Shakespeare also does a good job of showing the audience how the men are mainly interested in money. It seems as though the only reason they want Slender to marry Anne Page is for her good dowry. It is also interesting how Evans pronounces "goot gifts."

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