Merry Wives of Windsor

Merry Wives of Windsor, The.—A comedy by Shakespeare. It is said that Queen Elizabeth was so pleased with the Falstaff of Henry IV. that she commanded Shakespeare to show how he conducted himself when in love. For the plot he was probably but little indebted to other writers. The Two Lovers of Pisa  from Straparola, in Tarleton's News Out of Purgatory, and a story from Il Pecorone  which suggests the hiding of Falstaff in the soiled linen, may possibly have suggested some of the incidents. John Dennis wrote a play, The Comical Gallant, or the Amours of Sir John Falstaff, in 1702, in which The Merry Wives  may be recognized.