The Merry Wives of Windsor By William Shakespeare Summary and Analysis Act II: Scene 3

Summary

In a field near Windsor, Doctor Caius and his servant, John Rugby, have already waited beyond the appointed hour for Sir Hugh Evans. When Shallow arrives with several others, he muses that it is for the best that no duel has taken place, since it would "go against the hair of your profession"; that is, for a healer of bodies and a healer of souls to fight to the death would be wrong. Shallow, the Host of the Garter, Slender, Page, and Doctor Caius set off for the village of Frogmore, where Sir Hugh Evans is awaiting them.

Analysis

Besides advancing the subplot, this scene offers the comic spectacle of John Rugby fending off his master Doctor Caius who, it seems, is a bit over-eager for a scrap:

Caius: Take your rapier, Jack, I vill tell you how I vill kill him.
Rugby: Alas, sir, I cannot fence.
Caius: Villainy, take your rapier.

The Host of the Garter, who has arranged this absurd duel in the first place, seizes every opportunity to mock Doctor Caius' poor grasp of the English language. He mischievously substitutes "adversary" for "advocate."

Caius: By gar, me dank you vor dat .
Host: For the which I will be thy adversary toward
Anne Page. Said I well?
Caius: By gar, 'tis good; vell said. (94-97)

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