Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version
Act V, Scene 1
The scene is Shallow’s house in Gloucestershire. Shallow insists that Falstaff remain his guest for the night. When Falstaff refuses, Shallow says that he will not be excused. The Justice gives the cook instructions for dinner. In between he discusses with Davy about sowing red wheat and about the note from the blacksmith. Davy also informs his master that a bucket needs repair and the cook must pay a fine for losing wine. Shallow informs the servant that Falstaff will be staying the night and asks Davy to treat Falstaff’s men well.
Justice Shallow plays an important role in this scene. Falstaff is his guest and the Justice insists that he remain his guest for the night. He says that Falstaff will never be given any excuse if he denies the invitation. The word “excuse” is repeated several times to show the Justice’s ardent flair for new words and word building. The Justice appears to be a strict and honest man of the bench when he dismisses Davy, his servant, who had rendered eight years of honest service to him. Davy pleads for justice for his close and honest friend Visor but the Justice dismisses him. The faultless nature of the Justice on the bench is shown here.
Falstaff portrays Shallow in a comical manner, gives shrewd remarks on the Justice, and muses about the good time he will have with Hal at Shallow’s expense. The rustic beauty and greenery of Gloucestershire is brought out by Davy’s reference to the land, pigeons, and hens.