113 - I find that she, which late Was in my nobler thoughts...

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If thou canst like this creature as a maid,  I can create the rest. Virtue and she  Is her own dower; honor and wealth from me. (149-51) Bertram's outburst is, to say the least, not very tactful in the presence of an old king and the lady  who has restored the old king's life. Helena is embarrassed into saying, "Let the rest go [forget it],"  when Bertram persists. There is a tremendous emotional awkwardness when the angry king insists  on the marriage, saying that he "must produce [his] power" to secure his honor. Bertram's quick  turnabout (a lie) and his exit with his "bride to be" must leave both the stage audience and the one in  the theater feeling uneasy:
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Unformatted text preview: I find that she, which late Was in my nobler thoughts most base, is now The praised of the King; who, so ennobled, Is as 'twere born so. (177-80) This is especially so since Bertram and the doubly disgraced Parolles (who denied his master, then acted the coward toward old Lafeu) soon conspire to leave France and their obligations there for the wars in Italy where, ironically, Bertram expects to attain his "honour." As a final, sordid touch, Shakespeare has Bertram plan to send Helena back to Rousillon in possession of a sealed envelope addressed to the Countess, which will "acquaint my mother with my hate to her [Helena]."...
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