General Note: In January 2009 I decided that I’d like to go back and read all the plays of William Shakespeare, perhaps one a month if that works out. I hadn’t read a Shakespeare play since 1959, 50 years ago! But I had read nearly all of them in college. I wanted to go back, start with something not too serious or challenging, and work my way through the whole corpus. Thus I began with The Two Gentlemen of Verona. At this time I have no idea how the project will go, nor if it will actually lead me through the entire corpus of Shakespeare’s plays. However, I will keep a separate page listing each play I’ve read with links to any comments I would make of that particular play. See: List of Shakespeare’s play’s I’ve read and commented on
Comments by Bob Corbett
“Extra, extra, get your score card here, only 5 pence. . .” Surely they must have sold such cards at this play. This play’s pretense, pretending, deceiving and utter silliness is without match in the rest of Shakespeare’s corpus I would think. But, it is fun nonetheless.
First of all Sir John Falstaff, who has been a character in some of the history plays, shows up at a very different period of time. Now he is out to seduce two women who are staying at the local inn – the two merry wives of Winsor, Mrs. Ford and Mrs. Page. He wants to send them an identical note, wooing them, but his lackeys won’t take them, and he ends of getting the disguised jealous husband of one to take the note to his own wife. The husband decides to catch his wife in this infidelity.
However, the two women are not interested in Falstaff’s note, share them with each other and decide to tease him and make a fool of him. Of course he gets his punishment, but actually takes it quite well.
In the meantime Shakespeare wants more trickery and mayhem. The lovely daughter of Mrs. Page, is sought by three suitors and they go to all sorts of dirty tricks to win her, but she ends up with the one she truly loves and the other two are made fools of. It’s all crazy fun, but so utterly fantastical that I think you just had to have been a late 16th century audience to really be into it.Bob Corbett email@example.com
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