Entries by Peter Bradbury (Dramaturge)

Negative Capability

It has become a truism that Shakespeare’s plays are rich and complex. That is one of the reasons they have remained at the top of the chart for five centuries. But that complexity can often seed confusion in the minds of both audience and actors. Shakespeare appears to say contradictory things about his characters, and […]

Windsor: The Town

Windsor is thirty (30) miles west of central London, just beyond Heathrow airport. It is often linked to London but is officially within the Royal County of Berkshire. Historically it has been associated with two major institutions: Windsor Castle, built 1070-86 by William the Conqueror; and Eton College, founded in 1440 by King Henry VI […]

Merry Wives and the Sonnets

One of the best ways to understand Shakespeare’s thinking about a range of themes that appear in his plays is to look at relevant sonnets. In Merry Wives an important theme is anticipation. All the men in the play are anticipating or expecting to gain something or someone. It is one of the things that […]

Herne The Hunter and the Fairies

In the fifth act of Merry Wives the play turns into a carnival of English folklore. The children of the town, with Sir Hugh as their coach and Mistress Quickly as the Faerie Queen, become fairies who torment Falstaff as punishment for his lust-fueled pursuit of two of Windsor’s upstanding middle-class wives. The only other […]