The Metropolitan Opera HD Live (2006–…): Season 8, Episode 4 - Verdi: Falstaff - full transcript


Sir John Falstaff!

Why this shouting?

You've beaten my servants!

Innkeeper, more sherry!

You've broken into my house!
You've ridden my mare!

But not your housekeeper!

How kind of you! That old goose!

Hear me, Sir John!

If you were twenty times nobler,
I'd still make you answer!

And here is my reply.

I've done all those things, and quite purposely.

I'll take you to court!

I advise against it.
They'd only laugh at you.

I haven't finished!

Go to the devil!


Doctor Caius!

–Last night you took me drinking.
–And I'm the worse for it!

I need your help.
My insides are ruined!

I think the innkeeper doctors the wine.

See this? Like a fiery meteor!
It glows red in the dark!

That means your days are numbered.

You made me drink,
while he told wild tales.

Once I was good and tipsy,
you emptied my pockets!

–Not I!
–Who then?



Did you relieve the gentleman of his money?

Of course he did.

Just look at him!

How can he deny it with that lying face?

I had two shillings, six half-crowns.
No trace of them now!

Allow me to defend myself.

You are lying!

You dare insult a gentleman?



Pistola, don't fight in here!

Bardolfo, who emptied this gentleman's pockets?

One of these two!

This gentleman drinks himself out of his senses...

...then dreams up this story
while snoring under the table.

Hear that, doctor?
Any fool could see he's telling the truth.

Your charges are refuted.

Go in peace.

I swear that if I ever get drunk again... will be in honest, sober,
civil and pious company!


Enough! Your rhythm is dreadful.

There is art in this saying...

"Steal with grace and with perfect timing."

You are clumsy artists!

Six capons...six shillings.

Thirty bottles of sherry...two pounds.

Three turkeys.
See what's in my wallet.

A pair of pheasants. One anchovy.

A mark...a mark...a penny.

–Keep looking.
–I've looked.

There's nothing left.

You'll be my ruin!

You cost me ten guineas a week, you leeches!

When we wander at night
from tavern to tavern...

...that blazing nose of yours
serves as my lantern.

But what I save on lamp oil
you drink up in wine.

For thirty years I've maintained
that fungus of a nose.

You cost too much, both of you!

Innkeeper! Another bottle.

You make me dwindle away.

Should Falstaff grow slender,
he'd not be himself.

Who would love me then?

In this great paunch...

...there dwell a thousand tongues
that proclaim my name!

Immense and mighty Falstaff!

This is my kingdom!

And I will make it grow!

Now it's time to sharpen our wits.

Do you know a Master Ford in this town?

A self-made man.

Rich as Croesus.

–His wife is lovely.
–And guards his money.

Such a beauty!

Oh, love! Her eyes are like stars...

...her smiling lips like roses.

Her name is Alice.

One day I passed her house,
and she smiled at me.

The ardor of love arose in my heart.

The goddess looked at me with fiery eyes.

She gazed upon my bold flank,
my massive chest, my manly foot... proud and noble bearing.

Her desire rose up to meet mine.

And she seemed to say...

"I am yours, Sir John Falstaff!"


And furthermore, there's another....

Mistress Margaret.

They call her Meg.

She, too, is taken with my charms,
and also guards the money.

These two will be my gold mine!

Behold me...I am still pleasing
in the autumn of my life.

Here are two passionate letters.

Take this one to Meg.
We'll test her virtue.

Your nose seems to glow at the prospect.

Take this to Alice.

I'm a man of the sword, not a panderer.

I refuse!

You charlatan!

Sir John, I cannot agree to be part of this intrigue.

Honor forbids it!

Hey boy!
You can go hang yourselves!

Take these two letters to the ladies.
And be quick!


You thieves!

You stand upon your honor,
you foul degenerates?

Even we knights cannot always
be faithful to our honor.

Sometimes even I must put aside the fear of God...

...when I am forced to stray from the path of honor.

I look for every ruse and ploy,
juggling here, hedging there.

And you, with your shifty eyes and sneering grins!

You wretches speak of honor?
What nonsense!

Can honor fill your belly?

Can honor mend a broken leg?

A foot...a finger...a hair?

Honor is no surgeon.

What is it, then?

A word!

And what's in this word?

A puff of air.
So much for that!

Can a dead man feel honor?

Is honor found only among the living?

Honor can be swayed by flattery,
corrupted by pride and slander.

As for me, I'll have none of it!

I've been far too patient, you rogues.

You're dismissed!

Get out! Quickly, you rascals!
Or you'll swing from the gallows!

Thieves! Scoundrels!
Off with you!

–Alice! –Meg!

I've something amusing to tell you.

Good day, Dame Quickly.

God keep you merry!

Something amazing has happened to me.

Also to me!

You tell us first.

Promise not to tell a soul?

Not a word.

No, not a word.

Well, if I were to yield to the devil's temptation...

...I could become a gentleman's lady.

So could I.
Let's not waste time.

–I have a letter.
–So do I.

Read it.

"Radiant Alice, I offer my love."

Except for the name...
the very same words!

"Radiant Meg, I offer my love."

"And I long for yours."

Meg here...Alice there.

The letter's the same!

"Do not ask why...simply reply."

"I love you!"

I never encouraged him.

How very strange!

Let's stay calm.

The very hand, the very words,
same coat of arms!

"You, the merry wife...
I, your cheerful companion."

"Together we make a pair."

He...she...and you.

Three's a pair!

"Let two become one in the joy of love."

"A lovely woman, a man in all his splendor."

"And your beauty will shine before me."

"It will shine like a star in the heavens!"

"Your true knight, John Falstaff,
awaits your reply."

That monster!

We'll taunt and trick him.

What fun! What revenge!

That bloated old tub!

King of paunches!

The man's like a cannon.
One burst and we're dead!

That amorous whale believes he can charm us.

But the greasy old rogue will never disarm us.

If we plan with care, his downfall awaits.

Our womanly wiles will serve as our bait!

Sir John Falstaff is a vandal.
Where he goes there's always scandal.

Master Ford, your honor's at stake.
Do beware of that crafty old snake!

Beware of that swindler!

Everyone's speaking at once.
I can't understand anyone!

Repeat that!

In a word, then....

The portly Falstaff wants to storm your house...

...steal your wife, raid your coffers...

...and usurp your bed!

He has written to your wife.

A despicable letter.

I refused to deliver it.

So did I.

Be on guard!

On guard!

Falstaff fancies all women, pretty or plain.

Actaeon's crown will sprout from your brow.

What do you mean?

A cuckold's horns.

I'll keep a watch on them,
and protect what's mine!

–It's her!
–It's him!

If my husband even suspected....

–Ford is jealous?

–Let's step outside.

Nannetta, come here!

What do you want?

–Two kisses!
–But quickly!

What burning lips!

Such rosy lips!

And they know the sweet game of love.

They murmur sweet nothings
through gleaming pearls.

Lovely to see, sweeter to kiss!

What lovely lips!

Such mischievous hands!

Those thieving eyes have stolen my heart!

–I love you!
–They'll hear us.

Just two kisses.

Oh, how I love you!

Lips that are kissed bring lovers good fortune.

And love, like the moon, is forever renewed.

–Falstaff has mocked me!
–And he'll regret it.

Should I write him a note?

A messenger's better.

You'll go to that scoundrel.

Arrange a rendezvous with me.

–How clever!
–What fun!

We'll lure him with flattery,
and have our revenge.

He deserves no pity.

That shameless beast!

That barrel of fat!

Loathsome glutton!

–We'll toss him in the river.
–And roast him on a spit!

Now play your part well!

–I'm back to capture you.
–And I'll elude you.

I'll parry!

You're aiming high!

Love is a lively duel that follows this rule.

The weak conquers the strong!

I'm armed and ready, lying in wait.

The lips are the bow.

And the kiss, the arrow.

Now the arrow flies from my lips to you.

Now you've been captured.

I plead for my life.

I have been wounded.

Now you are conquered.

Have mercy!

Let us make peace, and then...

...if you like, begin again!

The shortest games are sweetest!

My love!

They're coming.

Lips that are kissed bring lovers good fortune.

And love, like the moon, is forever renewed.

Now you'll see what a pompous fool he is.

Where is he to be found?

At the Garter Inn.

Ask him to receive me.
But do not give my real name.

Then watch me entrap him.

Not a word to a soul!

I don't indulge in gossip.

–My name is Bardolfo.
–I am Pistola.

–We're agreed, then.
–Your secret's safe with us.

Master Ford, you must be clever,
or you'll lose your wife forever!

That mountain of lard will be
feathered and tarred!

What's going on?

We'll boil him and toast him,
we'll simmer and roast him!

I carry her name in my heart.
Sweet love, be mine!

We shall be like twin stars...

...bound together by love.

I'll have him howling like a lovesick tomcat!

Ready for tomorrow?

Ready and waiting!

That terrible belly of his
will grow rounder and stouter...

...and fatter and fuller...

...until it bursts!

But still my beauty will shine before him.

Like a star in the heavens!

We're repentant and contrite.

Man returns to vice like a cat to the creamery.

And we return here now to serve you.

Master, a lady wishes to be admitted.

I'll see her.

Your Worthiness!

Good day, good woman!

Your Worthiness!

With your consent, Your Grace...

...I would welcome a word with you in private.

Your wish is granted.

Your Worthiness!

Mistress Alice Ford....


Alas...unhappy woman!

You are a great seducer!

I know. Continue.

Alice is feverish with love for you.

She thanks you for your letter,
and wishes you to know...

...her husband is always out
from two until three.

At that hour, Your Grace,
you may freely call upon the lady at her home.

The lovely Alice...

...unhappy woman!

She bears the burden of a jealous husband.

From two until three.

Tell her I eagerly await that hour.
I shall not fail her.

I'll tell her.

I have another message for Your Grace.

Tell me.

The lovely Meg....

To behold her is to love her!

She, too, sends you her most loving greetings.

Alas, her husband is seldom away.

Unhappy woman!

Her heart is pure as a lily.

You've bewitched them all!

I've cast no spells.
It's merely my personal charm.

Does the one know about the other?

Heaven forbid!

Women are too clever for that, I assure you.

–Let me reward you, Lady Mercury!
–Sow and you shall reap.

Commend me to the ladies.

Your servant.

Alice is mine!

Go, old John...
go along your way!

This aging flesh of yours
still has its sweetness to offer.

These women defy their husbands
and risk their souls for me.

And you, fine body that I so amply nourish....

Go...I thank you.

Sir, a Master Fontana would speak with you.

He offers a gift of wine for your pleasure.

His name is Fontana?

A fountain that flows so richly is most welcome!

Send him in!

Go, old John...go along your way!

My lord, may heaven bless you.

And keep you also, sir.

It is indiscreet of me,
and I ask your pardon...

...for having come here
without the proper introductions.

You are welcome here.

You see before you a man
who enjoys the comforts of life.

A man who spends freely,
as it pleases him.

My name is Fontana.

Dear Master Fontana,
I'd like to know you better.

Dear Sir John, I wish
to speak with you in private.

(He'll swallow the bait!)

(Ford will snare him!)

Are you still here?

I'm listening.

Sir John, allow me to recall a familiar proverb.

They say that gold opens every door.

Gold brings good fortune, and conquers all.

Gold is a good captain who leads the way!

This bag of money is far too much for me.

Sir John, please help me with it.

With great pleasure!

But I hardly know...

...why I should deserve this, sir.

I shall tell you.

Here in Windsor there lives a lovely,
charming lady.

Alice...the wife of a certain Ford.

I'm listening.

I love her – she loves me not.

I write to her – no reply.

I gaze at her – she looks away.

I pursue her – she eludes me.

For her, I've spent a fortune,
heaping gift upon gift.

I've seized every chance to be near her.

Alas, all in vain!

I've been rejected,
left with no one to serenade.

Love! It gives no peace while life endures.

Love is like a shadow.

–We pursues us.
–We pursue flees.

I have paid dearly to learn this little tune.

Such is the fate of one
whose love is unrequited.

Love! It gives no peace while life endures.

Has she ever given you reason to hope?

Then why confide in me?

I shall tell you.

You are a gentleman.
Valiant, clever, eloquent.

A man of daring.
A man of the world.

I speak the truth.
Take this money.

Spend it all!

Squander all my treasure.

Be rich, and be happy.

But in return for this...

...I ask that you win Alice for your own.

Strange request!

I'll explain.

That cruel beauty has always lived
within the bounds of purity.

Her virtue stirs my passion
and taunts me as if to say...

"Woe betide you if you touch me!"

But should you win her over,
there's hope for me, too.

A moment's weakness leads to another.

What do you think?

Without further ado,
I accept your money, sir!

And I pledge to satisfy your wish.

You shall, if you will, enjoy Ford's wife.

I'm already well on the way
to reaching my goal.

In half an hour, she'll be in my arms.

–Your Alice!

This very day she sent a message...

...that her idiot of a husband
will be out from two until three.

You know her husband?

The devil take him and all his kind!

That boor, that clod!
Just wait, you'll see.

I'll plant horns on him for you!

If he defies me, I'll pound his horns
until he begs for mercy.

That Master Ford is nothing but an ox!

Just watch me make a fool of him!

He'll soon be wearing a cuckold's horns!

It's late. Wait for me here.

I'll go to make myself beautiful.

Is this a dream...

...or reality?

The horns begin to sprout from my brow!

Can I be dreaming?

Master Ford, are you asleep?
Rouse yourself!

Your wife brings shame
to your honor, your house, your bed!

The hour is fixed.

The betrayal is planned.

And I am made the fool.

And yet they say
a jealous husband is a madman!

Already they laugh at me
and whisper behind my back.

O marriage...what hell!

O women...what demons!

Only a fool would trust his wife!

I'd rather entrust my beer to a German...

...or leave a hungry Dutchman in my pantry...

...or trust a Turk in my wine cellar –
but not my wife with her virtue!

What a cruel fate!
That word comes back to haunt me.

Horns! A cuckold's horns!

But you shall not escape me!

You loathsome wretch!
Vulgar glutton!

First let them meet.
Then I'll catch them together.

I shall avenge my honor.

Praised be the jealousy in my heart!

Here I am, all ready.

You'll walk with me?

I'll see you on your way.

If you please.

After you.

This is my house, sir.

You first.


It's late. The lady will be waiting.

Please lead the way, sir.

I beg you....


Well then, we'll leave together!

Let's petition Parliament
to put a tax on fat men!

–Ladies! –Well?

We'll fix him.
He's in for a rude awakening!

He fell right into our trap!

Tell us everything!

When I arrived at the Garter Inn...

...I begged to be received by the knight.

I said I was a private messenger.

Sir John agreed to receive me.

He was at his most absurd as he welcomed me.

"Good day, good woman!"

"Your Worthiness!"

I responded with my deepest curtsey.

I gave him your message,
and he swallowed it whole.

He believes you both are smitten with his charms.

He'll soon be kneeling at your feet.

Today, from two until three.

It's already two!

From two until three.

Ned! Will!

Everything is ready.

Fetch the linen basket.

It will be an amusing game!

Nannetta, you're not laughing. What is it?

Tell your mother why you're crying.

It's Father.

He wants me to marry Doctor Caius!

Marry that fool?

That fossil, that buzzard?

–I'd rather be stoned to death!
–By a hail of cabbages!

There's nothing to fear!

I don't have to marry Doctor Caius!

When I call you back,
you'll dump it out the window.

Hush! Go!

What a bombardment!

Let's set the scene.

The chairs....

Some music....

Cover that....

Very good!

Just so.

The comedy is about to begin.

Merry wives of Windsor,
now it's time for pleasure!

Time for laughter that dances.

Time for winks and knowing glances!

Friends, let us smile
and laugh all the while!

Our goal is in sight,
we'll fool the old knight!

And now, play your part well.

You're taking a risk,
all alone with that giant.

I'll be on guard.

I'm counting on you!

I'll keep watch, too.

We'll prove our point by what we do.
Wives can be merry, yet honest, too.

Certain wives show false intent
when they play the innocent.

Merry wives of Windsor,
our moment has come!

–I see him! –Where?
–There! On the stairs!

Everyone to your places!

At last I pluck thee,
my radiant blossom!

Now I can die a happy man.

For I'll have truly lived after
this blessed hour of love.

–Oh, sweet Sir John!
–My lovely Alice!

I am not skilled at flattery or flowery speech.

But I harbor a guilty thought.


I pray that Master Ford should
pass to a better life.

You ask me why?

You'd be my lady, and I your lord!

A poor lady indeed!

A lady fit for a king!

I picture you adorned with my family crest.

Sparkling gems upon your bosom!

You'll be radiant in diamonds...

...your tiny foot peeking out
beneath your petticoats.

You will be more dazzling than the rainbow!

I do not care for jewels or gold.

A simple veil suffices,
a flower for my hair.

You siren! At last we're alone together.

–I love you!
–You mustn't!

Love always seizes the occasion!

It's no sin to be true to one's calling.

I love you! I'm not to blame –

If your ample flesh is weak!

When I was a page to the Duke of Norfolk,
I was slim, slim, slim.

I was a mirage –
lovely, light, tender, tender, tender.

That was the springtime of my youth.

I was so slim I could slip through a ring!

When I was a page, I was so fine.
The charm of youth was mine!

You're toying with me!

I fear that you deceive me.

You really love another.



I can't bear the sight of her.

Do not betray me, John!

I've waited a thousand years to embrace you!

–I love you!

Who's there!

–Mistress Alice!
–What is it?

Meg is here and she's beside herself!

–Speak of the devil!
–I can barely restrain her.

–Where can I escape?
–Hide over there!

Alice, I'm frightened.

You must leave at once!

Gracious! What has happened?

Your husband is raving!

(A little louder.)

–He's out for blood!
–(Don't laugh now!)

He's mad with rage,
cursing all women!

Lord, have mercy!

He says you're hiding a lover,
and vows to find him.

Ford is here!

He's roaring like thunder!
Exploding with threats and shouts!

–Truly, or is this a joke?

He hurdled the garden hedge.
He's almost at the door!

The devil himself plots my ruin!

Bolt the door!
Follow his tracks, his scent!

Have you lost your mind?

What's in the basket?

The linen.

Dirty linen, evil wife!

Take the keys! Search the chests!

You'd better wash that linen well!

What's under these rags?
Scour the garden!

If he's here, I'll skin him alive!

Shirts...sheets...that rascal!
He's not in there!

What a hurricane!

Under the bed...on the roof!
In the oven...the cellar!

How can he escape?

He's too fat for the basket!

Let's see...yes, I'll fit.

I'll call the servants.

Sir John! You're here?

My true love! Save me!

–Not now!

I'm in...I made it!

Quickly, close it!

Come here.

Such bellowing!

What a commotion...come with me!

This is a madhouse!

They fume with rage,
we coo like doves.

They burn with fury.

We burn with love!

Just follow me.

I'm right beside you.

This will hide and protect us.

What if they find us?

You're safe in my arms.

Thank God this will keep us from harm.

Thief! Get him!

–Is he there?

Turn the house upside down!

I can't find anyone!

I'm sure he is here!

Sir John, you'll hang for this!

Coward, come out,
or I'll tear down the walls!

Give up, scoundrel!

Come out!

Surrender, you drunken hog!

When I catch you....

When I snatch you....

When I nab you....

When I grab you....

Then I'll thrash you!

I'll whip you like a dog!

Woe unto you!

Say your prayers.

(We'll pretend to fold the linen
while tempers rage and seethe.)

(We'll keep the rascal hidden
as long as he can breathe.)

(Ford hasn't guessed the truth.
Our secret's safe for now.)

(Though danger lurks at every turn,
we'll win the day somehow.)


I've found him.

Falstaff's there with my wife!

–Vile dog!

I'm roasting.

Stay down...

I'm boiling!

...or you're cooked!

Let's catch the rat while he nibbles the cheese.

We're loving...they're raging!

Love will keep us safe here.

Right and left flank, at the ready!

Our wedding bells are already ringing!

Oh, the heat, I'm roasting!

Now he's begging for a fan.

A gulp of air, nothing more!

Keep still, or I'll gag you!

We're delirious with love...

...sighing and laughing.

Bright eyes, so serene and lovely.

Damned basket!

I protest!


You defy me again?

I've said it a thousand times.
She'll not be yours!

There he goes! Stop him!

Happy hunting!

Ned...Will...Tom! Hurry!

Dump it out the window into the river.

It may be somewhat heavy.

Call my husband.
I'll tell him the truth.

When he sees Sir John in a puddle... will put his fears to rest!

What a crash!

Hey, innkeeper!

Thieving world!

Cheating world!

Wicked world!

Innkeeper, a glass of warm wine!

So, I have lived these many years
as a bold and gallant knight...

...only to be flung into the river
with the dirty linen.

Left to drown like a blind kitten!

Had my splendid belly not kept me afloat...

...I surely would have drowned.

What an ugly death... be swollen by water!

Rotten world.

All virtue is gone.

Everything is crumbling.

Go, old John....

Go on your way.

Go on until your dying day.

With you, true manliness
shall depart the world forever!

Darkest of days.

Heaven help me!

I've grown too fat.

My hair is gray.

Let's add some wine
to the water of the Thames!

What delight!

How sweet to drink good wine
and bask in the sunshine!

A good wine dispels the clouds of misfortune.

It quickens both eye and mind.

From the lip, it rises to the brain...

...where it begins to set the mind aflutter.

It resounds in the heart,
spreading enchantment...

...and unleashes a mad delight
that fills the world!

Your Worthiness!

The lovely Alice –

The devil take your lovely Alice!

I've had my fill of her.

You are mistaken –

The hell I am!

I still feel the horns
of her jealous husband.

My bones still ache
from being stuffed into that basket!

With dirty that heat!
A man like me, melting like butter.

And once I was toasted,
basted and roasted...

...they dumped me in the river!

Those swine!

Mistress Alice is innocent...
you are mistaken.

Her wretched servants are to blame.

She does nothing but weep
and invoke the saints, poor woman!

She loves you.

Read this.

(He swallows the bait again.)

(Men never learn!)

–(He's reading it.)
–(We've got him.)

"I shall wait for you in
Windsor Park at midnight."

"Come disguised as the Black Huntsman.
Wait for me at Herne's Oak."

Love thrives on mystery.

Alice's plan is inspired by a popular legend.

Herne's Oak is possessed by witchcraft.

The Black Huntsman hanged himself
from its branches.

There are those who say he haunts it still.

Let's go inside where we can talk.

Continue your story.

As the chimes at midnight begin to toll...

...a terrible darkness covers the earth.

The ghostly spirits rise from their graves.

Those spirits of the dead
wander through the mist...

...and in a clearing
the Black Huntsman appears.

He makes his way slowly,
as if he were in a deathly trance.

He draws nearer, pale as death.

How frightening!

I'm already quaking with fear!

It's only a tale grandmothers spin
to lull children to sleep.

Our plan will not fail with the help of this tale!

The Huntsman stopped at the oak
where he drew his last breath.

And then from his brow
two great horns appeared.

How I'll enjoy seeing those horns!

But you deserve to be punished, too!

Forgive me.

I admit my guilt.

God help you, if ever again... let jealousy convince you
that your wife has a lover!

But time is passing.

Let's plan our masquerade!

–At your command.

You shall be Queen of the Fairies.

You'll wear a white gown and veil,
a crown of roses.

How sweetly I shall sing!

Meg, you shall be a wood nymph.

And Dame Quickly...a witch!


The children will be elves,
little bats and tiny sprites.

Falstaff will be at the oak.
We'll take him by surprise.

We'll taunt him until he admits his wicked deeds.

Then we'll unmask at daybreak,
and lead our merry band home!

It's time to go.

Until midnight at Herne's Oak.

It's agreed!

Oh, what merry fright!

Don't forget the lanterns.

Rest assured, you shall wed my daughter.

Remember how she'll be dressed.

A crown of roses, white veil and gown.

Don't forget, now!

Ready! And you, hurry along!

I've already set my trap.

At evening's end, bring her to me.

Her face will be veiled,
yours hidden by a mask.

Then I shall bless you as husband and wife.

That will be fine.

(Don't be so sure!)

Nannetta, don't forget!

Forget what?

Prepare your song.

I have it ready.

Don't be late!

Whoever arrives first waits for the others.

My song of love flies gently
through the quiet night.

And a loving voice replies in tender greeting.

Two voices, no longer alone...

...become one in secret delight.

Those two voices now fill the air with love.

Together they take flight,
and return to me.

My song finds its voice once again...

...for love always seeks to unite
those who are parted.

So with my song,
I kiss the lips of my beloved.

Lips that are kissed bring lovers good fortune.

And love, like the moon, is forever renewed.

Hurry, put on this cloak!

–But why? –Let's do it.

He looks like a wayward monk!

Ford's plot will turn on him
and work in our favor.

Just do as I say.
There's no time to lose.

Who's disguised as the bride?

A red-nosed thief!

The children are ready.

Falstaff has arrived! Disappear!

One, two, three....

Seven strokes....


This is the place.

May the gods protect me.

O Jove!

You changed yourself into a bull
for the love of Europa.

You wore the horns.

The gods teach us humility.

O love, that turns man into beast!

A dainty footstep!

Alice, love is calling you.

I burn with passion, my lady!

I am your stag who longs for his doe.

We'll graze on manna from heaven.

Are we alone?

No, Meg is following me.

All the better...three together!

Carve me in two...there's enough for both!

Cupid's reward at last! I love you!


The witches are coming!

Heaven forgive my sin!

Even the devil works against me!

Hear me, nymphs and elves, sylphs and sirens!

The star of enchantment has risen in the sky.

Come forth, you gentle spirits!

It's the fairies!
To gaze on them means death.

Follow me.

There he lies.

He's terrified.

He's hiding.

Don't laugh!

Gather around.
Let us begin.

See how the shadows dance
on breaths of summer air!

Silver rays of moonlight softly bathe the forest.

Let the gentle breeze inspire your dance.

Let dance be wed to song on this wondrous night.

The forest sleeps...

...dispersing light and shadow... a green refuge at the bottom of a sea.

Let us wander in the moonlight
and gather tender blossoms.

We shall find enchantment in every flower.

We shall write secret names with lilies and violets.

Words etched in silver and gold
will blossom from our hands...

...words in silver and gold telling of magical spells...

...spells of the fairies.

Let's continue on...

...beneath the moon's glow,
toward the dark oak of the Black Huntsman...

...bringing with us enchanted fairy blossoms.

–Halt! –Who is this?

It's a man!

Huge as an ox!

Round as an apple!

Wide as a ship!

Get up, old man!

I'll need a hand.

He's evil and depraved!

Let's exorcise the knave!

Doctor Caius is searching for you.

–I'll hide!
–Come back when I call.

Elves and vampires!

Insects from the infernal swamp!

Chase him! Catch him!
Bite him! Scratch him!

You stink like a skunk!

Pinch him, kick him,
punch him and stick him!

Taunt and torment him.
With wine we'll lament him.

The attack we will launch
when we dance on his paunch.

Pinch him, kick him,
punch him and stick him!

Prod him and jab him,
from head to toe stab him!

Strangle and choke him!
Pinch him and poke him!

You goat! You bloat!
You snake! You fake!

Stay on your knees!

Flabby old belly! Mountain of jelly!

Smarmy buffoon! Lazy balloon!

Swear to repent!

I do! I swear it!

–Goat! Sponger! Boaster!
–Forgive me!

–Reform or sink!
–You stink of drink!

O Lord, make him pure of heart!

But preserve his abdomen.

Lord, suppress his arrogance!

But preserve his abdomen.

Punish all his evil deeds!

But preserve his abdomen.

Save him from the fires of hell!

But preserve his abdomen!

What say you now, you wretch?

Guilty, as accused.

Do you accept your fate?

So be it.

Bulging miscreant!
Horned pretender!

Knave! Lout!

Let the devil take you!

Fire and brimstone!
It's that thieving Bardolfo!

Nose like a bunion,
breath like an onion!

Face like a frog,
stench of a hog!

If I have spoken wrongly,
may I burst my belly!

Give me a moment.

Go put on the veil!

While you catch your breath....

Sir John, tell us,
who wears the horns now?

Have you lost your voice?

Dear Master Fontana!

You're quite mistaken.

This is dear husband!

You believed these two ladies foolish enough...

...that they'd risk life and limb for you!

Why should they want a sweaty old man...

...with that balding head and all that fat?

I do begin to perceive that I am made an ass.

A stag!

An ox!

A rare monster indeed!

All sorts of men glory in mocking me.

But without me,
they'd lack that certain spice of life.

I alone inspire your imagination.

I am not only witty in myself,
but the cause of wit in others!

If I weren't laughing, I'd throttle you!

Listen to me, all of you.

Let us conclude with the wedding
of the Queen of the Fairies.

Behold the happy pair.

The bride, all in white,
with roses in her hair.

At her side, the bridegroom
I have chosen for her.

Another pair of lovers are here this night.

And they, too, wish to be wed.

So be it...a double wedding.

May light shine on them.

May heaven unite you.

Remove your masks and veils.

–I've been tricked!
–What treachery!

Fenton and my daughter!

I've married Bardolfo!

I'm astonished!

Man often falls into nets he has woven himself.

Dear Master Ford, I pray you...
now who's the fool?

The two of them.

No. All three of you!

It's time to make peace with the happy couple.

Forgive us, dear Father.

One must be gracious in defeat
as well as in victory.

Let our family be one.
May heaven bring you joy!

Let's end with a chorus.

And then dine with Sir John!

The whole word is a joke
and man is born a joker!

Everything in life is a jest
and we are all but clowns!

Our minds always whirl
between reason and emotion.

Everyone is fooled, every soul taunted!

But he who laughs last
has the best laugh of all!

But he who laughs last
has the best laugh of all!

Everyone is fooled!