109 - The framework of this scene provides insights into...

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Unformatted text preview: The framework of this scene provides insights into the two central characters, although Bertram and Helena are not seen together. There is something puppyish about Bertram; his feelings are hurt deeply because the rest of the young noblemen are riding off to battle while he must remain behind. Shakespeare paints a picture of youthful petulance and malleability in this part of the scene, as Parolles acts as a tempter and as a bad influence to Bertram. His advice is to ignore the king's command and, furthermore, to study the ways of the courtly gentlemen and soldiers in order to become a perfectly fashionable man of the world — presumably like Parolles himself. Of course, the audience (and virtually everyone else on stage besides Bertram) can see right through Parolles' bombast. One imagines the other noblemen urging Bertram and Parolles into their company with bombast....
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