The Merry Wives of Windsor | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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The Merry Wives of Windsor | Act 5, Scene 4 | Summary



Sir Hugh leads a group of schoolchildren toward Windsor Park. All, including him, are disguised as fairies. He instructs the children to "trib" (trip, or move in a quick and sprightly manner) and cautions them to remember their lines when the signal is given.


Offering little in character development, this scene serves mainly to get the characters into position for the grand finale. Sir Hugh is already established as an essentially good-intentioned man, if something of a busybody and a moralizer. His stagey Welsh accent has likewise been a source of jokes throughout the play, so the mixed-up consonants here—"do as I pid you" and "be pold," for example, are unsurprising. This scene does, however, give the audience a chance to look, and laugh, at the fairy costumes before the cheerful chaos of Act 5, Scene 5.

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