Customer Reviews


10 Reviews
5 star:
 (5)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5.0 out of 5 stars I read this book and it brought me laughableness a lot.
The Merry Wives of Windsor is loved by many people in the world because of the plentiful expressions, skillful characters' description and the natural laughable. It is not only a common comedy, but also a signpost from that we can see many things of the Elizabethan age when the author-William Shakespeare- lived. And this is one of the few works that he composed by...
Published on Dec 2 1997

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Falstaff fallshard
Legend has it that the Queen herself commissioned the writing of this play, saying she wished to see a comedy in which Falstaff, her favorite character from the histories, falls in love. Shakespeare, naturally, did a masterful job, crafting not only a comedy with plenty of belly laughs in it (literally), but also a play about women in power for the ultimate woman in...
Published on March 23 2002 by William Krischke


Most Helpful First | Newest First

2.0 out of 5 stars Merry Wives of Windsor:, Dec 2 2002
By 
James Yanni (Bellefontaine Neighbors, Mo. USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
When rating Shakespeare, I am rating it against other Shakespeare; otherwise, the consistent 4-5 stars wouldn't tell you much. So if you want to know how this book rates against the general selection of books in the world, I suppose it might rate four stars; it certainly rates three. The language, as usual in Shakespeare, is beautiful. Still, it's far from Shakespeare's best.
For one thing, this is one of those cases, not uncommon in Shakespeare's comedies, in which the play has suffered a great deal by the changes in the language since Shakespeare's time; it loses a great deal of the humor inherent in a play when the reader needs to keep checking the footnotes to see what's happening, and this play, particularly the first half of it, virtually can't be read without constant reference to the notes; even with them, there's frequently a question as to what's being said. At least in the edition that I read (the Dover Thrift edition) the notes frequently admit that there's some question as to the meaning of the lines, and there is mention of different changes in them in different folios.
But beyond this, as an overweight, balding, middle-aged libertine, I object to the concept that Falstaff is ridiculous just because he is in fact unwilling to concede that it is impossible that a woman could want him. Granted, he's NOT particularly attractive, but that has more to do with his greed, his callousness, and his perfect willingness to use people for his own ends, to say nothing of his utter lack of subtlety.
Is it truly so funny that an older, overweight man might attempt to find a dalliance? So funny that the very fact that he does so leaves him open to being played for the fool? Remember, it isn't as though he refused to take "no" for an answer; he never GOT a "no". He was consistently led on, only to be tormented for his audacity. Nor is he making passes at a nubile young girl; the target of his amorous approaches is clearly herself middle-aged; after all, she is the MOTHER of a nubile young marriageable girl. And given the fact that she is married to an obnoxious, possessive, bullying and suspicious husband, it is not at all unreasonable for Falstaff to think that she might be unhappy enough in her marriage to accept a dalliance with someone else.
If laughing at fat old men who have the audacity not to spend the last twenty years of their lives with sufficient dignity to make it seem as if they were dead already is your idea of a good time, you should love this play. I'll pass.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Falstaff fallshard, March 23 2002
By 
William Krischke (Portland, OR United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Legend has it that the Queen herself commissioned the writing of this play, saying she wished to see a comedy in which Falstaff, her favorite character from the histories, falls in love. Shakespeare, naturally, did a masterful job, crafting not only a comedy with plenty of belly laughs in it (literally), but also a play about women in power for the ultimate woman in power.
I saw this play performed recently and it brought home to me how much it really is about the character of Mrs. Hood. She is written to be a sexually powerful, or powerfully sexual, character. Powerful enough to justify her husband's jealousy despite her trustworthiness -- for if we are to receive him as one of the "good guys", we must be able to sympathize with him. Powerful enough to justify Falstaff's return again and again. He is a fool, but a lovable fool, so again we need to be able to sympathize.
This is not Britney Spears sexuality. This is Mae West/Marilyn Monroe sexuality. The kind where she could be doing the most vulgar thing -- eating a cheeseburger, for instance -- and the men around her are still aroused. And she is in full control of it, even as it causes chaos in the men around her. If an actress can bring this to the role, this play sings, it swings, it sparkles and flies. If this is missing, if she is simply a normal woman, the counterpart of Mrs. Whatever, the jokes are strained, the pacing slow and the whole thing feels a bit washed up.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars I read this book and it brought me laughableness a lot., Dec 2 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Merry Wives of Windsor (Hardcover)
The Merry Wives of Windsor is loved by many people in the world because of the plentiful expressions, skillful characters' description and the natural laughable. It is not only a common comedy, but also a signpost from that we can see many things of the Elizabethan age when the author-William Shakespeare- lived. And this is one of the few works that he composed by himself, in other words, there are no any source to create it. The reason of coming into existence about this is unique and interesting. When Queen Elizabeth watched one of his historical plays (Henry the fourth), she was very pleased with John Falstaff in the play, then she ordered Shakespeare that he would make John be a hero and have him love in another play. It is said that the beginning of the story. There are lots of characters in the play as the other Shakespeare's works. The whole content is, Sir John Falstaff falls in love with Mistress Ford and Mistress Page, but the two mistresses make plan of ill-treating to him to refuse his love and to show their faithful and virtuous hearts to their husbands. Meanwhile, Fenton(a young gentleman), Slender(a country justice's kinsman) and Doctor Caius(a French physician) are all in love with Anne(daughter of Page and Mistress Page), and they think for wining her love respectively. At the end of the story, after Mr. and Mrs. Ford, Mr. and Mrs. Page and others make plans and ill-treat to Falstaff in the woods, all of them get reconciled with, while Anne Page get married with Fenton, and come to an end with joy. Besides them, some people who have strong personalities appear on the stage. For example, Mistress Quickly(Caius' servant) has a ready wit but a little stupid, or Sir Hugh Evans(a Welsh parson) who always speaks in rural accent but it makes us fanny and he plays an active part at the end of this play. We could see Shakespeare's genius in this play for there has many puns and unique accent which used by Hugh Evans. And it bring more cheerful mood to the play and laugh to the audience. Shakespeare described many men who is jealous of their wives or lovers in his works, and one of them is Mr. Ford who appears in this play. He has faith in his wife's affair and it brings some troubles. When this work was written, a woman generally could not get married to a man if he was not permitted by her father. However the times went by, many Pulitans came to insist that men and women could get married only when they loved each other. Fenton has also the pulitanical view for marriage. It was a new thought and I think Anne Page was attracted to his such way of thinking as well as his other good points. Also at that time in England, there was a tendency for every people to criticize about things which were against the social morals through passages of caricatures. For example, it was a fashion of the time for women to wear trousers but people criticized it, or they criticized for jealousy and affairs. In this play, John Falstaff is ill-treated by everyone and has a terrible experiences, and that's because he is immoral and unfair. Like these, this comedy has several points, and we can see the cultural features of the Shakespeare's period. Although I have ever read his works, I thought this one was very interesting and I came to like it the best. The character's personalities are made full use and I could see the author's abilities from that, too. The mistresses play active parts and they are very cheerful, livery and merry just as the title is. I think it made the audience(especially women) enjoy to watch, and the merriness of this play has been one of the most big reasons to attract people even nowadays.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars I read this book and it brought me laughableness a lot., Dec 2 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Merry Wives of Windsor (Hardcover)
Book Report The Merry Wives of Windsor The Merry Wives of Windsor is loved by many people in the world because of the plentiful expressions, skillful characters' description and the natural laughable. It is not only a common comedy, but also a signpost from that we can see many things of the Elizabethan age when the author-William Shakespeare- lived. And this is one of the few works that he composed by himself, in other words, there are no any source to create it. The reason of coming into existence about this is unique and interesting. When Queen Elizabeth watched one of his historical plays (Henry the fourth), she was very pleased with John Falstaff in the play, then she ordered Shakespeare that he would make John be a hero and have him love in another play. It is said that the beginning of the story. There are lots of characters in the play as the other Shakespeare's works. The whole content is, Sir John Falstaff falls in love with Mistress Ford and Mistress Page, but the two mistresses make plan of ill-treating to him to refuse his love and to show their faithful and virtuous hearts to their husbands. Meanwhile, Fenton(a young gentleman), Slender(a country justice's kinsman) and Doctor Caius(a French physician) are all in love with Anne(daughter of Page and Mistress Page), and they think for wining her love respectively. At the end of the story, after Mr. and Mrs. Ford, Mr. and Mrs. Page and others make plans and ill-treat to Falstaff in the woods, all of them get reconciled with, while Anne Page get married with Fenton, and come to an end with joy. Besides them, some people who have strong personalities appear on the stage. For example, Mistress Quickly(Caius' servant) has a ready wit but a little stupid, or Sir Hugh Evans(a Welsh parson) who always speaks in rural accent but it makes us fanny and he plays an active part at the end of this play. We could see Shakespeare's genius in this play for there has many puns and unique accent which used by Hugh Evans. And it bring more cheerful mood to the play and laugh to the audience. Shakespeare described many men who is jealous of their wives or lovers in his works, and one of them is Mr. Ford who appears in this play. He has faith in his wife's affair and it brings some troubles. When this work was written, a woman generally could not get married to a man if he was not permitted by her father. However the times went by, many Pulitans came to insist that men and women could get married only when they loved each other. Fenton has also the pulitanical view for marriage. It was a new thought and I think Anne Page was attracted to his such way of thinking as well as his other good points. Also at that time in England, there was a tendency for every people to criticize about things which were against the social morals through passages of caricatures. For example, it was a fashion of the time for women to wear trousers but people criticized it, or they criticized for jealousy and affairs. In this play, John Falstaff is ill-treated by everyone and has a terrible experiences, and that's because he is immoral and unfair. Like these, this comedy has several points, and we can see the cultural features of the Shakespeare's period. Although I have ever read his works, I thought this one was very interesting and I came to like it the best. The character's personalities are made full use and I could see the author's abilities from that, too. The mistresses play active parts and they are very cheerful, livery and merry just as the title is. I think it made the audience(especially women) enjoy to watch, and the merriness of this play has been one of the most big reasons to attract people even nowadays.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Witty & Fun, Dec 2 2002
By 
Chris Salzer (Gainesville, GA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Shakespeare, considering he wrote this little gem of a comedy in a mere 14 days for the Virgin Queen, pulls off a play that proves both witty and fun. Unequivocally, The Merry Wives of Windsor makes for a more enjoyable play if seen live. Nonetheless, reading it is the 2nd best thing.
Sir John Falstaff is once again such a fool - but a lovable and hilarious one at that. Having read Henry V - where Falstaff ostensibly had met his end - I was pleased to see him so alive(pardon the pun) in this short, albeit clever play. It is no surprise that The Merry Wives of Windsor enjoyed such a long and successful stage run during Shakespeare's day and continues to be one of his most popularly staged plays. Recommended as a fun break from the more serious and murderous Shakespearean tragedies.
"Why, then the world's mine oyster,
Which I with sword will open." - Pistol
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Not hilarious, but very funny!, March 7 2000
Allright. Maybe as far as the comedies go, I was spoiled by the exquisite comical masterpiece "The Comedy of Errors." But this is without a doubt my 2nd favorite comedy. I can not help but simultaneously laugh and feel sorry for poor Ford when he suspects his wife is interested in Falstaff and goes into his jealous rages. One scene I could not forget if I tried is when Ford feels bad for suspecting his wife, is humiliated in front of everyone, and apologizes.Only a bit later he finds his wife was with Falstaff and she has another arranged meeting with him! But this is only a small part of the many laughs that await. Shakespeare only had a few days to write this play, but this shows that even under pressure he wrote great!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars They're certainly merry, July 3 1997
By A Customer
This is the funniest play/book I have EVER read.

Enough said.

I am not a poet, and you'll certainly know it,

By the time you have read this little bit.

The Merry Wives is a wonderful play,

Great to read on any day.

Sunny, or rainy or a bit in between,

You'll laugh so hard that day,you'll have to visit the latrine.

A couple of wives, mad at their men

Would certainly rate this play a ten!

My opinion, too is of the good kind,

Reading this poem, though, must have put you in a bind
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare's FUNNIEST play!!!!, Oct. 18 2001
By 
"kenamat" (Wilmington, DE) - See all my reviews
This is definitely Shakespeare's funniest play. This play doesn't have the great quotes or great drama or great romance or any great meaning, but it is just simply hilarious. Sir John Falstaff is one of the greatest comedic characters in all of literature and does not disappoint in this play.
'The Merchant of Venice' is great if you are looking for a 'Comedy' with meaning and social significance, but if you simply want to laugh your butt off you have to read 'The Merry Wives of Windsor'.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars a comedy that is actually funny, May 4 2003
By A Customer
i've just finished reading/watching all of shakespeare's comedies and mww is one of the funnier ones. it is a lighthearted look at marital jealousy and features one of shakespeare's great fools, falstaff (of henry iv fame). the out-and-out funniest shakepearean play is still "taming of the shrew", imho, but mwv runs well ahead of the laggards, and certainly well ahead of such better known plays as "twelfth night" and "as you like it".
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Great companion or stand alone, July 8 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Great companion to the Arden (or your favourite modern text). A very useful tool for the actor for stage performance and/or scene study.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Merry Wives of Windsor
The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare (Mass Market Paperback - July 1 2004)
CDN$ 7.99 CDN$ 7.59
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews