The Merry Wives of Windsor - Stephen Orgel, William Shakespeare Falstaff, the famed scoundrel from Shakespeare‘s Henry IV, is reincarnated as a lecherous buffoon. His quest to bed two wives at once sets him up for shenanigans and humiliation. The merry wives repeatedly trick Falstaff to punish him for his mischievous ways and to eventually expose him to the townsfolk. Which, when done, doesn’t really seem to bother him. A legitimate side love-story between Anne Page and Fenton is thrown in to give it all happy ending.

I’m way too fond of the Falstaff in Henry IV to appreciate him in The Merry Wives of Windsor. He lacks the quick-witted charm that allowed him to go head-to-head with a future king as well lead a crew of thieves. Shakespeare now reduces him to an old fat fool.

It all seems rather uninspired and used for a quick laugh. The consensus seems to be that this is not one of Shakespeare’s better works, so I don’t feel that uncultured not liking it.