The New Cambridge Shakespeare appeals to students worldwide for its up-to-date scholarship and emphasis on performance. The series features line-by-line commentaries and textual notes on the plays and poems. Introductions are regularly refreshed with accounts of new critical, stage and screen interpretations. In this second edition of Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor David Crane emphasises the liveliness of the play in stage terms. He also claims that this citizen comedy was an expression of Shakespeare's fundamental understanding of human life, conveyed centrally in the character of Falstaff. In the process he examines Shakespeare's free and vigorous use of different linguistic worlds. An account of the play's textual history concludes that at the time of its earliest performances Shakespeare's text was being adapted to specific theatrical needs, and as much in the possession of its players as of its author.