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MonkeyNotes-The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare
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Act III, Scene 4

Fenton speaks to Anne Page about her father's harsh judgment of him. Anne encourages him and tells him not to give up. Shallow, Slender, and Mistress Quickly enter. They have coached Slender on how to woo Anne, but the shy Slender is unable to follow their instructions. Page and his wife enter next, and Page is outraged at seeing Fenton. He orders him to depart and not to visit his daughter anymore. Fenton tries to win Mrs. Page's support for him; she, however, favors Dr. Caius for her daughter. Nonetheless, she tries to be impartial, saying that her daughter should choose the man whom she likes the most.


Notes

This scene again revolves around the suitors of Anne Page. Slender's shy nature is revealed in a hilarious scene where he is unable to woo Anne properly. It appears that no amount of coaching can give him confidence with women. Fenton is also present in the scene, and it appears that Anne prefers him over the other suitors; she encourages him not to give up in trying to convince her father of his suitability. Mr. Page is opposed to his daughter's alliance with Fenton because of the wild habits he has displayed in the past. He forbids Fenton further contact with Anne. Frustrated over the situation, Fenton tries to win the favor of Mrs. Page. He also gives Quickly a ring to hand over to Anne. Quickly, however, has no time for this errand, for she has promised to help Mrs. Page and Mrs. Ford.

Mistress Quickly prefers Fenton as a husband for Anne; she cannot believe that Mrs. Page would consider Dr. Caius as a suitable match for her daughter. She even questions Mrs. Page, "Will you cast away your child on a fool and a physician?"

Everybody supports a different suitor for Anne. Page prefers Slender, Quickly supports Fenton, Mrs. Page favors Dr. Caius, and the audience is left to make its own decision. Mr. Page's disapproval of Fenton poses a serious obstacle to the lovers, but Anne encourages him.

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