Shakespeare on Abstinence and the Improbable Chastity in Men

I will find you twenty lascivious turtles“I will find you twenty lascivious turtles, ere one chaste man.”
(Merry Wives of Windsor, act 2, sc.1)

Tips for use. Applicable at large, especially with seemingly self-righteous or outwardly religious characters. Even recent history is dotted with sexual scandals involving preachers of various denominations, ready to quote chapter and verse from the Bible. Nor we should omit the notorious Clintons with their family values, the world as a family village etc.
Still, the generalization by Mrs. Ford may not be accepted in its totality. After all Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) noted in his Essays, “An unattempted woman cannot boast of her chastity.” In more recent times, the abysmal results of the expensive Bush’ ‘abstinence only’ programs not only corroborate Mrs. Ford’s contention but also attest to a colossal waste of money.
On the literary side, at first reading it would seem that turtles are particularly monogamous, the lascivious ones being the exception. However, Mrs. Ford meant to say ‘turtle-doves’, who allegedly are proverbially known for their mutual fidelity.
Finally, a piece of totally useless information. The term ‘philanderer’ describes a skirt-chaser at large. The etymology, strictly interpreted, would define a philanderer as a ‘lover of people’ (phil=love, andr=men or mankind).  The meaning of philanderer as a flirt came about during the first half of the 19th century.
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In the play. Mrs. Ford shares with Mrs. Page her opinion on men. Mrs. Ford observation arises from her observation of Falstaff’s behavior. Falstaff attempts (unsuccessfully) to seduce the two wives of Windsor to derive (as well), some financial benefits.

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