The Merry Wives of Windsor "Drink Down All Unkindness"
by William Shakespeare

The Merry Wives of Windsor book cover
Start Your Free Trial

"Drink Down All Unkindness"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Download The Merry Wives of Windsor Study Guide

Subscribe Now

Context: Early in the first act of The Merry Wives of Windsor, the reader learns that several injustices have been committed against Robert Shallow, Esquire, by Sir John Falstaff and his followers. Master Page, Sir John, and his followers soon enter the scene, and Shallow confronts Falstaff hotly with his list of grievances, which Falstaff acknowledges. When Slender, cousin of Shallow, begins enumerating more in detail what happened to him during his drinking with Falstaff and his men, Sir John calls on his associates to answer the accusations. The words become more heated as Bardolph, Pistol, and Nym deny Slender's charges. The ladies enter the scene, appropriately causing the heated discussion to cease momentarily. Page then urges his wife and the other ladies to invite all the gentlemen inside their house for drink and dinner. He says he hopes that drink will soothe the atmosphere of hostility among them.

PAGEWife, bid these gentlemen welcome. Come, we have a hot venison pasty to dinner. Come, gentlemen, I hope we shall drink down all unkindness.