The Merry Wives of Windsor is a comedy by William Shakespeare alleged to have been written at the command of Queen Elizabeth I. The source of the play is unknown, and a likely date for the first performance could be 1600.
The impoverished Falstaff is lodging at the Garter Inn in Windsor. He decides to woo Mistress Ford and Mistress Page, not for love but for money. He knows that the two women have control over their husbands' purses.
However, his scheming is revealed to Ford and Page by Falstaff's disgruntled followers. Aside, the jealous Ford takes revenge by thrashing Falstaff. To add to embarrassment, Mistresses Ford and Page play a series of jokes on Falstaff, to the point that he was played around by fairies, who in reality are the Page family in disguise, in Windsor Forest. Falstaff has gone to Windsor Forest, himself disguised as the Hunter Herne, for an assignment with mistress Ford.
Finally, after everything is revealed, the humbled Falstaff is forgiven.