103 - Once mother and son have said their goodbyes and he...

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At the opening of this play, the main figures of the plot are weighed down with thoughts  of two recent deaths. "Young Bertram," the Count of Rousillon (in France), has lost his  father, as has Helena, the beautiful daughter of a famed physician, Gerard de Narbon,  "whose skill was almost as great as his honesty." Bertram's mother is further distressed  that she must say farewell to her son, now a ward of the ailing king of France. Opening  the play, she exclaims: "In delivering my son from me [to the king's court], I bury a  second husband." As an older lord and a close family friend, Lafeu assures the  Countess that in the king she shall find someone as good as a second husband for  herself and a second father for Bertram.
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Unformatted text preview: Once mother and son have said their goodbyes and he has departed, Helena delivers a soliloquy in which she reveals a double reason for her sadness. "I am undone; there is no living, none, if Bertram be away." A "follower" of Bertram, named Parolles, interrupts her and engages her in an extended dialogue on the subject of virginity. He pledges that he will "return a perfect courtier" from Paris, where he is about to go with Bertram. A second soliloquy, this time by Helena, reveals her to be resolute in her pledge to pursue her unlikely attempt at capturing Bertram's heart: " . . . my project may deceive me, but my intents are fixed, and will not leave me."...
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This note was uploaded on 11/05/2011 for the course ENG 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.

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