In this play again appear fat knight Falstaff and some other comic characters “Henry IV” – Judge Shellow, pompous fighter Pistol, mischievous page Falstaff drunkard Bardolph. The action takes place in the city of Windsor and is frankly farcical.
In front of Page’s house, a rich Windsor town dweller, Judge Schellow, his stupid and timid nephew Slender and Sir Hugh Evans, a pastor from Wales, talk. The judge distorts Latin, and Evans – English. Shellow is seething with anger – he was insulted by Sir John Falstaff. The judge wants to complain about the offender to the Royal Council, the pastor persuades him to finish the affair with the world and tries to change the subject of the conversation, offering the judge to arrange a nephew’s wedding with Paige’s daughter. “She’s the best girl in the world,” he says, “Seven hundred pounds sterling with clean money and a lot of family gold and silver…” Shellow is ready to go into Paige’s house for matchmaking, although Sir John is there. Paige invites the gentlemen into the house. He exchanges awkward courtesies with the judge and wants to reconcile the judge with Falstaff. Appears himself a fat knight, as always surrounded by hangers-on. They mock the judge and his nephew. The hospitable owner calls everyone to dinner. His daughter Anna talks to Slender, but he is lost and carries a real nuisance.
In the hotel “Garter” Sir John complains to the owner on the lack of money. He is forced to dissolve his “entourage”. The owner experiences an ironic sympathy for the old reveler. He is ready to take in the servants of Bardolph, instruct him to plant and pour wine. Bardolph is very pleased. Pistol and Nim jokers with their patron, but refuse to carry out his commission. It is indeed a very dubious property. Falstaff, with his inherent conceit, decided that the wives of two respectable Windsor townspeople, Page and Ford, were in love with him. But he is attracted not by the ladies themselves (both are no longer their first youth), but the opportunity with their help to run their hands into the purses of their husbands. “One will be for me Ost-India, the other West India…” He writes letters to both and orders Pistol and Nima to take them to the addressees. But prizhivaly artcha. “How! As a guide for me to become? I am an honest soldier. I swear by the sword and a thousand devils, “Pistol exclaims in his characteristic lush manner, and Nim also does not want to get involved in a dubious venture.” Falstaff sends a page with the letters and drives the two scammers. These are insulted and decide to give Sir John Page and Ford. they will deal with him.
In the house of Dr. Caius Simple, Mrs. Quicli transmits a letter from Evans. A good servant assures him that he will certainly help Slender. Suddenly, the doctor returns. Simpla is hiding in the closet, so as not to provoke the quick-tempered Frenchman. However, Simply still comes across. Cayus learns about the character of the commission that Simple performs. The doctor, shamelessly distorting the English language, requires a paper and promptly writes a call to the pastor for a duel. He himself has views on Anna. Mrs. Quicley assures the master that the girl is crazy about him. When Simple and the doctor leave, Mrs. Quicli is another visitor. This is the young noble Fenton, in love with Anna. Kuichli and he promises to help achieve the favor of his beloved and willingly takes money.
Mrs. Page is reading a letter from Falstaff. She is so outraged by the debauchery of the old rake that she is ready to contribute to the parliament a bill about the extermination of a male. Her indignation still increases when Mrs. Ford appears and shows the same exact letter, but addressed to her. Girlfriends make a joke about Sir John, his appearance and behavior. They decide to teach fatty red tape, and for this purpose give him some hopes and take a longer time to get his nose. Meanwhile, Pistol and Nim tell the husbands of worthy ladies about Sir John’s plans for their wives and purses. The discreet Mr. Page entirely trusts his girlfriend. But Mr. Ford is jealous, and his doubt is eating. The host appears, accompanied by Judge Shelou. Shellow invites both gentlemen to go and see a duel between Dr. Caius and Sir Hugh. The fact is that the cheerful owner of “
Mrs. Quicley is to Sir John at the hotel with a request from Mrs. Ford. She tells the windy fat man that between ten and eleven this morning Ford will not be at home, and his wife is waiting for Sir John to visit. When Mrs. Kuichli leaves, the knight is the new visitor, Mr. Brooke. He treats Sir John with sherry and can easily find out about the appointment. Ford is furious and vows to take revenge.
In the meantime, Dr. Cajus has been waiting for an hour in the field of his opponent. He is furious and showering the absent pastor with scolding in monstrously warped English. Appeared master “Garter” carries a hot medicine to the Frog marsh.
Sir Hugh is waiting for the doctor in the field by the swamp. Finally he appears accompanied by the host and all the guests invited to “fun.” Opponents shower each other with comical reproaches. The owner admits that he has arranged everything to reconcile them. Outpouring anger in the battle duelists agree on the world. Mr. Ford meets the whole company when she goes to dinner with Anna Paige. Paige himself promises to support the matchmaking of Slender, but his wife is inclined to give her daughter for Cayus. They both do not want to hear about Fenton: he’s poor, he drove the company with the dissolute Prince Harry, he’s too noble, finally. Ford calls the doctor, the pastor and Page to himself. He wants to expose his wife to witnesses.
Falstaff appeared on a date with Mrs. Ford, but he does not have to be amiable for a long time: Mrs. Page appears and, as previously agreed, warns the neighbor that her husband is coming here “with the whole of Windsor guards.” Frightened Falstaff agrees that the women shoved him into the basket and covered with dirty underwear. Emerged Ford arranges a uniform search at home, but finds no one. He is embarrassed. The people around him shower reproaches for him. Meanwhile the servants, as they had been ordered by the hostess in advance, take a basket, carry them to the bank of the Thames and dump its contents into a dirty ditch. Mrs. Ford says to her friend: “I myself do not know what is more pleasant for me: to teach my husband a lesson for jealousy or to punish Falstaff for debauchery.”
Anna Paige gently converses with Fenton. The conversation of lovers was interrupted by the appearance of a judge and his stupid nephew. The latter, as always, carries a nonsense, but Anna still manages to find out what a nice little mate is wedded to her, only to please his uncle.
Falstaff throws thunder and lightning at the hotel, but then Mrs. Quicley sends him an invitation from Mrs. Ford to see her at eight in the morning when her husband goes hunting. She leaves, and the appearing “Mr. Brooke” finds out everything about the laundry basket and the new date.
Falstaff again at Mrs. Ford, and again at the doorway a jealous husband appears. This time he immediately rushes to the basket – there’s only dirty laundry. In the rooms, too, there is no one. In the meantime, Falstaff was taken out dressed in the aunt’s dress by one of the maids, an old woman whom Ford hated. The hot-tempered jealous man beats the imaginary old woman with a stick. Falstaff escapes. Ladies tell their husbands how they played a trick on Sir John. “They are faithful to their husbands and mockers, And sinners walk in the mask of goodness.” The whole company decides once again to teach the fat man and expose him publicly. To do this, they will appoint him at night a meeting in the forest. Falstaff will have to dress up as a ghost of Hunter Herne, and disguised as elves and fairies, young people led by the pastor will scare him and extort recognition in an unworthy knight’s behavior. The role of the queen of fairies is entrusted to Anna. Father wants, that she put on a white dress – on it Slender will recognize her, kidnap and marry secretly from Mrs. Page. Mrs. Page has her plan – her daughter must wear a green dress and secretly from her father to get married with a doctor. There is a plan for Anna, but only Fenton knows about him.
Mrs. Quicli again sends an invitation to Falstaff – this time from both ladies. Sir John, of course, everything tells “Brook”, mocking the “cuckold” Ford. Dressed Hernom, with horns on his head, he comes to a reserved oak tree. Mockers are also there, but after a brief exchange of courtesies, the sound of hunting horns is heard. The ladies play out the fright and run away. There are mummers in the costumes of elves, fairies, hobgoblins (English equivalent of dosho) and satyrs. Everyone is amused over the flared Falstaff: they pinch him, cauterize him with torches, tickle him. In the turmoil, Caius runs off with a fairy in green, Slender – with a fairy in a white dress, and Fenton… with Anna Page. Falstaff, however, can not escape – both the ladies and their husbands block the way to him. Fat people shower with ridicule and insults. He himself understands that he was in a mess: “Okay, okay, laugh at me, scoff! Yours has. Beat the recumbent. I have nothing to say… “Appearing indignant Slender and Cayus – their” tutored “turned out to be disguised boys, it all comes to light when Fenton and Anna come in. They are now husband and wife.” The reconciled with the inevitable parents of Anna bless the young. , including the ashamed Falstaff.