Sunday, June 30, 2013

Merry Wives, ACT FIVE

Sc1 - Quickly meets Falstaff at the inn and tells him where to meet and when. As he is preparing Brook (Ford in disguise) meets Falstaff. Falstaff tells of his second failed attempt. They both head off for the forest where Falstaff will try again.

Sc2 - Page, Shallow, and Slender are hiding in a ditch waiting for the trick to begin. Slender reveals that he and Anne devised a code word so that they will know each other while wearing masks, and be able to run off together.

Sc3 - Mistress Page confides with the doctor about Anne wearing green. They get ready for the trick to begin.

Sc4 - Very quickly Hugh enters leading the ferries.

Sc5 - The wives meet Falstaff a the forest and the trap is set. The fairies rush out and scare Falstaff, until the wives return with their husbands and intervene. The scold Falstaff and he sits up feeling like an ass. Slender returns with a boy in white saying that he grabbed the wrong person and almost married him. Then Caius returns in a rage with a boy in green, saying that he too grabbed the wrong person but did marry him. Confused, the parents wonder what happen to Anne. Fenton and Anne enter, and they tell of their love. The parents are happy and everyone rejoices, and the entire party heads back to the Ford's house for a celebration.

This was a very simple play with some sometimes very difficult language. I think the plot twists were lots of fun, and there were many mirroring stories as is usual in Shakespeare. It was a bit harder to enjoy Falstaff because not all of the insults always came through. On the other hand, he did have his moments, and seeing him get thrown out in a basket, dressed as a women and beaten over the head, and then scared by a bunch of children was amusing. In the end everything works out well for everyone, just as is the common model for the comedies.

I remember now also that Verdi did an opera Falstaff, and I think the story there is much simpler and more fun.

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