Quotes from the Merry Wives of Windsor


“What the dickens” is going on with William Shakespeare’s wonderful world?  This classic quote passed on through the centuries and used under many different circumstances, one of the most commonly spoken, and did you know William Shakespeare wrote those very words?

The Merry Wives of Windsor could be the script used for your morning soap operas.   How did William know that in centuries to come his works would be re-written and used as paradigms, if you compare many modern and traditional plays, movies and TV mini-series somewhere in there you will find similarities to William Shakespeare’s amazing stories.  “The whirligig of time” has persisted, and his famous words live on.  There are happy women and wives the world over, that relate to his words and have since pen hit paper in the 1500’s.

The fabulous writings of William have survived over 400 years, love stories, sonnets, murder and mayhem, and of course hundreds of famous Shakespeare quotes.  When William sat down and put his imaginative thoughts on paper, was he writing from experience, lifetime incidences or were they just figments of his imagination?  With each act he wrote, he brought to life reality of those times.  Fact to fiction and that reality continues today. 

Why, you might ask yourself are his works still so famous and compelling?  Be as they are, in centuries olde English, the characters and content once you are introduced to them, for some reason, remain in your mind.  The quotes for instance, we recognize them, Granny used them, her Granny before her used them, and we still use them, no doubt, our children will use them, they are the “Be All and End All” of quotes, and William outdid himself and left a wonderful legacy with every stroke of his pen.

The Merry Wives of Windsor is a comedy, a situation taken from life and turned into a comedic issue.  Jealousy, love and deceit are the ingredients for this highly acclaimed play.  The wives taking on the task of seduction and the men deceiving them with false identity, only the husbands win when it is proved, jealousy was unwarranted and now they each have a lot of explaining to do.  Though it was supposed that back in those day women were inclined to be suppressed, according to William and his great imagination, except for those ‘ladies’ of the night, this wasn’t the case at all as many of his heroin are seductresses.  Married or not. 

If William Shakespeare were alive today, would he smile at the way his words have been translated in so many different genres?  And so many different languages.  The concept remains the same, the humour, the passion, the cheating and drama, if he could have, would his descriptions and explanations been more explicit?  After all, this was England, aristocracy was not to be shamed, impiety swept under the carpet so the frolics and ambitions of William’s characters had to be underlying, leaving certain situations completely to the reader’s imagination.

The Merry Wives of Windsor is a great example of everyday life, when you put it into perspective, his words, his humorous imagination, the actions and reality of his wives, put men in their place for sure.  Obviously, in this wonderful uplifting play, William Shakespeare didn’t use women as tools of ridicule but rather gave them the same display of confidence that he gave his male characters.

Mr. William Shakespeare, could be pronounced the king of quotes as for centuries his legacy lives on in not only his major works, but his simple one line statements.


Some more favourites:


Merry Wives of Windsor quotes



I will make a Star Chamber matter of it.

Shallow, scene i

All his successors, gone before him, have done't; and all his ancestors, that come after him, may.

Slender, scene i

It is a familiar beast to man, and signifies love.

Evans, scene i

Seven hundred pounds, and possibilities, is good gifts.

Evans, scene i

Mine host of the Garter.

Evans, scene i

I had rather than forty shillings I had my book of Songs and Sonnets here.

Slender, scene i

If there be no great love in the beginning, yet heaven may decrease it upon better acquaintance, when we are married and have more occasion to know one another: I hope, upon familiarity will grow more contempt.

Slender, scene i

O base Gongarian wight! wilt thou the spigot wield?

Pistol, scene iii

Convey, the wise it call: steal! foh; a fico for the phrase!

Pistol, scene iii

Bear you these letters tightly;
Sail like my pinnace to these golden shores.

Falstaff, scene iii

Tester I'll have in pouch, when thou shalt lack,
Base Phrygian Turk!

Pistol, scene iii

Thou art the Mars of malcontents.

Pistol, scene iii

Here will be an old abusing of God's patience, and the King's English.

Mistress Quickly, scene iv


Merry Wives of Windsor quotes

We burn day-light.

Mistress Ford, scene i

I love not the humour of bread and cheese; and there's the humour of it.

Nym, scene i

Faith, thou hast some crotchets in thy head now.

Mistress Ford, scene i

Why, then the world's mine oyster,
Which I with sword will open.

Pistol, scene ii

This is the short and the long of it.

Mistress Quickly, scene ii

I have pursued her, as love hath pursued me; which hath been, on the wing of all occasions. But whatsoever I have merited, either in my mind, or in my means, meed, I am sure, I have received none, unless experience be a jewel.

Ford, scene ii

Falstaff: Of what quality was your love then?
Ford: Like a fair house, built on another man's ground.

scene ii

We have some salt of our youth in us.

Shallow, scene iii



Merry Winves of Windsor quotes

Your hearts are mighty, your skins are whole.

Host, scene i

I cannot tell what the dickens his name is.

Mistress Page, scene ii

What a taking was he in, when your husband asked what was in the basket!

Mistress Page, scene iii

O, what a world of vile ill-favour'd faults
Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a-year!

Anne Page, scene iv

Happy man be his dole!

Slender, scene iv

You may know by my size, that I have a kind of alacrity in sinking.

Falstaff, scene v

As good luck would have it.

Falstaff, scene v

The rankest compound of villainous smell, that ever offended nostril.

Falstaff, scene v

A man of my kidney.

Falstaff, scene v

Think of that, master Brook.

Falstaff, scene v


Merry Wives of Windsor quotes


Why, woman, your husband is in his old lunes again; he so takes on yonder with my husband; so rails against all married mankind; so curses all Eve's daughters, of what complexion soever.

Mistress Page, scene ii

Merry Wives of Windsor quotes

This is the third time; I hope good luck lies in odd numbers. Away, go; they say, there is divinity in odd numbers, either in nativity, chance, or death.

Falstaff, scene i


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