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MonkeyNotes-The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare
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THEMES

Major Theme

The major theme of the play is that sin has its retribution. All the characters plot to humiliate Falstaff for his foolhardy ways and to teach him a lesson. This plot is divided into a series of actions, which finally culminates in the exposure, confession, and chastening of Falstaff.

Minor Theme

The minor theme centers on the importance of marrying the right person. Anne Page has many suitors, and there are many opinions in the play about whom she should marry. Anne, however, is her own person and, uninfluenced by the other characters, she chooses Fenton as a suitable husband for herself.


MOOD

The Mood of the play is definitely light, with certain scenes bordering on the ludicrous. Falstaff's self-importance and his sheer over-confidence in winning over Mrs. Page and Mrs. Ford are delightful, even if the reader despises him for his promiscuity. Similarly, at the end of every meeting with Mrs. Ford, when Falstaff finds himself made to look like a fool, the audience laughs at his misfortune instead of sympathizing with him.

The final scene, when the fairies torture Falstaff, seems like a scene of comedy rather than one of grief or sympathy. The whisking away of the wrong person by Caius and Slender is also hilarious, as they finally find themselves each with a boy, instead of with Anne Page. The Merry Wives of Windsor is a classic comedy, where the protagonist overcomes the antagonist, leading to a happy ending. The play can also be viewed as a farce, due to the improbable and ludicrous events of the plot.

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