ABSTRACT

The Merry Wives of Windsor has recently experienced a resurgence of critical interest. At times considered one of Shakespeare’s weaker plays, it is often dismissed or marginalized; however, developments in feminist, ecocritical and new historicist criticism have opened up new perspectives and this collection of 18 essays by top Shakespeare scholars sheds fresh light on the play. The detailed introduction by Phyllis Rackin and Evelyn Gajowski provides a historical survey of the play and ties into an evolving critical and cultural context. The book’s sections look in turn at female community/female agency; theatrical alternatives; social and theatrical contexts; desire/sexuality; nature and performance to provide a contemporary critical analysis of the play.

chapter |24 pages

Introduction: A historical survey

ByPHYLLIS RACKIN, EVELYN GAJOWSKI

part |2 pages

Part III Social and theatrical contexts

chapter 8|12 pages

Teaching children their behaviors in The Merry Wives of Windsor

ByJENNIFER HIGGINBOTHAM

chapter 9|10 pages

A French physician in an English community

ByBARBARA TRAISTER

part |2 pages

Part IV Desire/sexuality

part |2 pages

Part V Nature

chapter 14|11 pages

“Cabbage and roots” and the difference of Merry Wives

ByREBECCA LAROCHE

part |2 pages

Part VI Performance

chapter 15|14 pages

Young Falstaff and the performance of nostalgia

ByADRIAN KIERNANDER

chapter 16|14 pages

Queerly wiving it in Windsor: Shakespeare, John Dennis, and Alison Carey

Byand Alison Carey DAVID MCCANDLESS

chapter 17|17 pages

Theatrical afterlives

ByIRENE G. DASH