So much transpires so quickly in this scene that it threatens to "run away with the play," turning it into a romp and a farce. Consider the hero, who has apparently returned home as a respected (penitent) nobleman, fresh from the Florentine wars. The king forgives him, as does his mother, for his disobedience and his disgraceful behavior toward Helena, whom they describe in hushed tones fitting for a saint. Ready to accept the king's second offer of a bride (Lafeu's daughter) and thus secure his position in Rousillon, the world suddenly turns upside down for him. The king recognizes his ring, and all accuse Bertram of foul play in Helena's demise: "I am wrapped in dismal thinkings," comments the king. Furthermore, Diana appears, demanding her rights as Bertram's "lawful bride."
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