Unformatted text preview: Helena's plan also has a darker element, for she does have the matter of "right" on her side: Helena: Why then tonight let us essay our plot, Which, if it speed, is wicked meaning [Bertram's] In a lawful deed, and lawful meaning In a lawful act [Helena's] Where both not sin, and yet a sinful fact. But let's about it. (43-48) Helena undertakes the adventure with relish, and she paves the way with purses of gold to the Widow of Florence and her virgin daughter, Diana. The quoted passage captures all the ambiguity of the plot — Bertram will be making love to Helena, his rightful wife, though he thinks that she is Diana, an attractive virgin whom he fancies. His intention will be sinful, although the act will be lawful. "Ethics be damned!" seems to be Helena's attitude, so long as "all ends well" and is just....
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- Fall '08
- Henry IV, Part 1, Bertram, Helena, Bertram. Bertram, fat Jack Falstaff, enormously greater stature, young Prince Hal.