Master Frank Ford is a middle-aged, middle-class gentleman of Windsor afflicted with an almost pathological case of jealousy.
Though he trusts his wife Alice with the household finances, he is convinced that she will not hesitate to cheat on him given the least opportunity, an opinion he holds of all women. He cannot understand why other husbands do not see the same risks he does about their wives. His suspicions run so deep that he is quite willing to make a fool of himself, and he disguises himself in order to try and discover via Falstaff whether he is right to be as paranoid as he is. His terror of being cuckolded pushes him into wilder and wilder behavior, and the fact that his neighbors mock him mercilessly each time he can produce no proof of his allegations does nothing to dampen him. He is not a man to do things by halves; when his wife and Mistress Page explain what has been going on, he becomes as extravagant in his apologies as he was in his jealousy. He is prejudiced against foreigners and fortune-tellers. He is a rich man, and willing to risk a fair bit of his money to find out whether his wife is faithful or not; he also buys the disguises for the children who dress as fairies.