115 - to beg on the open road — and says that it is a...

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In twenty-three lines, Shakespeare introduces the city of Florence, Italy, to the play while that city's  duke puzzles aloud to a French nobleman about the king of France's neutrality in the Italian wars.  The French lord concurs: "Holy seems the quarrel / Upon your Grace's part; black and fearful / On  the opposer." In Scene 2, the clown has returned to Rousillon, where he delivers a letter from Bertram to his  mother advising her that he has run away from his marriage; in the letter, he says: "If there be  breadth enough in the world, I will hold a long distance." This upsets the Countess: "This is not well,  rash and unbridled boy, / To fly the favours of so good a King." Helena's distress, when she reads  Bertram's letter to her, compounds the feeling. She labels his note a "passport" — that is, a license 
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Unformatted text preview: to beg on the open road — and says that it is a "dreadful sentence." When thou canst get the ring upon my finger, Which never shall come off, and show me a child Begotten of thy body that I am father to, then call Me husband; but in such a "then" I write a "Never." (59-62) The Countess disavows Bertram as her son and then asks whether or not he is still traveling in the company of Parolles, the "very tainted fellow, and full of wickedness." The scene ends with a monologue by Helena, who vows to leave France to clear the way for Bertram to return home from the dangerous wars: No; come thou home, Rousillon, Whence honor but of danger wins a scar, As oft it loses all. I will be gone, — My being here it is that holds thee hence. Shall I stay here to do it? No, no. (123-27)...
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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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