The Prince

Remember how last week, we said that The Merry Wives of Windsor appears to have been produced between the two parts of Henry the Fourth.

Chronologically, it SORT OF makes sense as well.

Page denounces Fenton as a possible suitor for Anne because “he kept company with the wild prince and Poins” (III.ii.64-65). Poins had been Prince Hal’s boon companion in both Parts. And I can see how Page would what any companion of the dissolute Hal to be a son-in-law (even if Hal is the crown prince).

There is, however, a problem with the chronology. This play opens with Justice Shallow feuding with Falstaff… and the two former classmates are not reunited until midway through The Second Part.

And, of course, there is the matter of the contemporaneous events of the play’s composition and production: the installation of Frederick I, Duke of Württemberg, into the Order (referenced obliquely in Act Four).

Is this just a matter of references being shoehorned into the play to make it SEEM like there are connections?

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