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MonkeyNotes-The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare
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Act V, Scene 2

This brief scene shows Mr. Page, Shallow, and Slender entering Windsor Forest. The night is dark and perfect for the enactment of their plan. They can hardly wait for the appearance of the fairies and the sight of Falstaff wearing his horns.


Notes

This is a brief and relatively insignificant scene that sets the Mood for the evening in the forest, where the climax will occur. It is a perfect night for mystery, for it is dark and still. Page, Shallow and Slender enter and discuss their plans. They are going to hide in the castle-ditch, which is found on one side of Windsor Castle. When it is time for Slender to steal Anne away from the scene, he will use the code word, 'mum;' Anne is to say 'budget' in reply, confirming their identities to one another.

There is a wonderful play on words in the scene. When Page says, "We shall know him by his horns," he is obviously referring to Falstaff, disguised as Herne. The statement also alludes to the image of the devil with his horns. Such a reference casts a dark, supernatural atmosphere on the scene.

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