110 - that she is a divine emissary • But most it is...

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I say we must not so stain our judgment or corrupt our hope,  To prostitute our past-cure malady to empirics [quacks],  Or to dissever so our great self and our credit,  To esteem a senseless help, when help past sense we deem. (122-25) Using her skill of rhetoric, larded with aphoristic remarks like, Oft expectation fails, and most oft there  Where most it promises, and oft it hits  Where hope is coldest and despair most fits. (145-47) Helena finally sways the king to give her a chance. Perhaps she nudges him over the edge by hinting 
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Unformatted text preview: that she is a divine emissary: • But most it is presumption in us when. The help of Heaven we count the act of men. (154-55) Some critics have observed a trace of the fairy tale formula in this section of the play, in which the young virgin "magically" cures an ailing king. This may be so, but one cannot fail to be impressed by the sheer doggedness of Shakespeare's heroine. Her effort of will commands the end of the scene, contrasting with Bertram's jellyfish compliance at its opening....
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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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