104 - A gloomy mood at the opening of the play is often...

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Unformatted text preview: A gloomy mood at the opening of the play is often customary for a Shakespearean comedy. But amidst the general lamentation over departures and deaths, there is some emotional ambiguity which sets a tone for this "problem play," as All's Well has been called by some critics. Lafeu remarks on Helena's tears at the Countess' praise, whereupon the older woman kindly says that Helena must not cry lest people think that she is "affecting" or putting on her sad demeanor. Helena's answer — "I do affect a sorrow indeed, but I have it too" — seems puzzling, until we learn in her soliloquy that she is crying for the sake of her unacknowledged lover, and not (or not entirely) for her deceased father. Helena keeps to herself much of the time, partly because she may be embarrassed at the feelings she has for a person beyond her station, socially. In the first moments of the play, she is feelings she has for a person beyond her station, socially....
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104 - A gloomy mood at the opening of the play is often...

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