What is the 'Merry Wives of Windsor' all about?
On one level it's about dogs. The characters actions were taken from a pack of dogs that were often found outside the theater.
I reasoned there was a play in the actions of a dog pack and it would be strangely familiar. It would hold an allure and people would be extremely fascinated since they wouldn't be able to quite put their finger on what made it familiar. The truth lies just below our conscious mind. When dogs are around us we say 'we put them out of our mind' so that we don't get distracted by their actions but really we don't totally ignore them. Our subconscious mind keeps tabs on them all the time. We keep on top of their interactions with other dogs and with people so that they don't get into fights or bite a child, etc.
I followed this pack of dogs for about five days in preparation for writing 'The Merry Wives of Windsor'. I made observations of how dogs acted and then I got them up on their hind feet to explain their emotions but I had to enlist actual humans to do the talking.
Other than that I just had the dogs act like they normally do whenever they stand up and talk. Yes I am aware that dogs don't talk but that kind of gave me a lot of leeway didn't it? OK, well I took the leeway. I always took the leeway and it always got me into trouble. That is probably why I took the leeway whenever I could get away with it.
During the preparation for writing the play I was in the pack for three days and I did it without a break (except at night to sleep) and so both my thinking and actions become in concert with theirs. By the second day I was able to predict what they were likely do under most circumstances. By the third day I had become a dog and I felt liberated beyond what words could ever describe. You should try it sometime.*
The amazing part though is how much fun it was putting London in the position of paying for the privilege of watching dogs act like they do right outside their home. I will bet that you probably have paid money to watch dogs act too. I know you will never trust me again. I'm sorry, but I couldn't resist.
I hate to say it but this is how I saw often saw men in that life.
I think this is a perfect youtube alegory of what I was trying to acheive.
I'll prove it. I won't get into the little particulars and nick away at it with small obserevations. I am going to show you that the play illustrates the social structure of dog packs and not those of humans. If you know the play pretty well then you probably already see it.
I chose Windsor as the location as it was the most elite, upright and proper society in all of England. That they act so shamelessly should have tipped off everyone. The social rules of our dog/Windsor society are completely the opposite of the rules that have evolved over the many thousands of years of human history. Human social order and dominance becomes a set of nearly unbending hierarchical patterns in a very short period of time. Societies are built on these patterns and they become permanent in less than one hundred years. To change even one little part of a human society, it is often necessary to tear apart the entire social structure. This only happens during upheavals like large earthquakes, plagues, revolutions and wars.
The 'Windsor's' change their social structure at every sexual opportunity. The social order then changes as if it never existed to begin with. That's not human, that's not England and that is certainly not Windsor which was often considered the epitome of English refinement. It only happens with certain kinds of animals like dogs or sheep. (These animals live in very flexible and changeable societies with changing dominance that we call packs or herds. These also involve lots of social interactions.)
After these social transformations occur in the play there is no punishment or accountability. Nobody holds a grudge or is bothered much by what occurred. That's not the way humans react at all but it is the only way that animals can react. Acting from impulse they don't hold grudges and accountability is minimal.
The 'Windsors' could not be humans because of a dozen reasons but the primary one is that the 'Windsors' leave their children unattended at every sexual opportunity and if that happened to humans then there would be an immediate and complete breakdown of parenting. Every family that acted like this would die out in a few generations and their genes with them.
Also these people are simultaneously unfathomably optimistic as well as shallow. Those two factors are incompatible in anyone who is not either a dog (or possibly an idiot). Over a period of time you can only remain optimistic if you have a successful life and you can only create that with depth and planning unless you are a dog. Idiots do not plan so it must be dogs.
The Windsors are affectionate but mostly as lovers. Establishing a friendship and an alignment between any two characters takes no more than the time it takes two dogs to smell and lick each other. The entire relationship sometimes lasts no more than about 30 minutes. The main factor that everyone can see is the total simplicity of the friendships. They evolve just like dogs that meet, smell each other, like each other, lick each other and are suddenly friends and run off to be friends or have sex together. Every character in that play has the same kind of shallow relationships that dogs do. So again they must be dogs.
*I waited until late fall so that few people would see me. It started on one of those horrible foggy cold and miserable days that make England, England and the English the irascible people that they often are. The fog and still cold air bit through my clothing and when we ran it left my skin swimming in wet for we rarely slowed when on the hunt for prey.
Almost half the time we spent hunting and I attracted all the dirt we went by until I looked like an apparition from the underworld. I was once after the pack and 300 meters behind them when I had to scramble over a lot of slippery branches. Then I slipped twice climbing up an embankment of mud and my passion for this endeavor had even started to fade.
I fantasized myself belonging in Bedlam asylum if I had to be one of the pack any longer. But their howls meant they had the scent of an animal and all I could think of was that I had to catch up to them fast or there would be nothing left but bones.
At the top of the hill I spilled out into the local road almost on top of the local priest. He might have feared a monster because his shock turned to a sigh of relief when he saw my shapely figure silhouetted against the only light left of the fading dusk.
I was falling behind in the hunt and I did not want to talk with this man at that time or any other. As I moved from where the light silhouetted me he could see that I was totally coated with mud and since my hair had gotten loose at noon there were more branches and leaves in it than there was hair. His eyes got huge as the shapely woman in front of him turned out to be something that appeared to have come from the grave.
I was about to say something and realized that nothing was going to work under the circumstances and even if I managed to get him to recognize me as human he would have to judge me since I was a woman and also because I had frightened him. Then he would either make use of it in sermons about the dangerous people involved with actors or put me in the insane asylum or both.
Besides I was late for the kill so running off towards the sounds of my pack I let out a howl as this ghoulish figure disappeared into the forest.
It turned out as I felt it would. I turned up in that mans sermon for three weeks in a row and each week I was transformed a little bit for the congregation. I started as a Wolf Woman and ended up a three week run of sermons as the Devil Woman. The part that I never could figure out is why he never accused this devil woman of trying to seduce him or even that seduction of a priest was my primary goal in life?
At the time it was a little upsetting to me and my pride to find out that I had not even evoked a sexual desire in him that would have created that image. That was not an ordinary man.
I recall now that this story went on for years. I became a legend as I recall. It may be in the records of London churches. It's part of Englands folklore by now because it was on everybody's tongue. I think it may have been the biggest thing that happened in London for two years. It got so bad that I was driven to the point that I wished the Spanish would sail up the Thames and fire a few cannon rounds at the tower. And I had never before wished anything like that would happen.
They could have. There were no defenses at the time. Not a single cannon pointed at the river! The lower windows facing the river had all been sealed up to keep out the 'bad air' that were thought to cause diseases and the Spanish thought we had huge cannons in those rooms. There was nothing in there but by paying Spain's spy's so much money the agents kept inventing bigger and bigger cannons inside there until the Spanish were afraid to attack London. I think this might have been not too long before the destruction of the Spanish Armada.
That minister should have faked having been turned on and then have written it in to his sermon. It would help with attendance if the churches put a lot more sex in the sermons. Why do think Judaism has survived? Every six pages there is sex and one out of three are illicit so it attracts lots of people who go to the service just to hear those stories. And about 90% of the time they never got punished for it. See how that minister missed out on a good thing?
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