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Chapter 7 - The Merry Worlds of Windsor in 1600

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 June 2019

Harriet Phillips
Affiliation:
Queen Mary University of London
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Summary

Chapter Seven considers The Merry Wives of Windsor (c. 1600), Shakespeare’s only play explicitly set in contemporary England which also addressed the historical freight of mirth. Merry Wives juxtaposes historical with theatrical nostalgia in the person of Falstaff, embodying not just past carnival but more recent stage history. Translating the drama of repetition and disappointment into the register of theatrical experience, the play uses the structures of audience familiarity to make a bold claim for something new.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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