On Creepy Men and Plotting Women
Don't you just love when things turn out to be just like soap operas? I had a feeling after I read Act I of Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor that Mrs. Ford and Mrs. Page would show each other the love notes they received from Falstaff. However, I never really expected them to plot to lead him on! Here's the passage that I thought was great:
"Mrs. Ford. Why, this is the very same: the very hand, the very words. What doth he think of us?
Mrs. Page. Nay, I know not. It makes me almost ready to wrangle with mine own honesty. I'll entertain myself like one that I am not acquainted withal; for sure, unless he know some strain in me that I know not myself, he would never have boarded me in this fury.
Mrs. Ford. 'Boarding' call you it? I'll be sure to keep him above deck.
Mrs. Page. So will I. If he come under my hatches, I'll never to sea again. Let's be revenged on him. Let's appoint him a meeting, give him a show of comfort in his suit, and lead him on with a fine-baited delay till he hath pawned his horses to mine Host of the Garter" (II.i.27-28).
This passage shows just how crafty and witty Shakespeare is. Although much of the humor here is sexual, it must still be admired for its wit. This passage also shows that women in Shakespeare's day could be just as crafty as women are now. They did not just sit around all day and embroider cushions. Plus, Falstaff is such a creep that he deserves to be led on by these women. I really think that their plot would have gone undetected if Mr. Ford had not found out that Falstaff was writing to his wife and decided to lead Falstaff on himself. This play just keeps getting better and better.