120 - Parolles: What shall I say I have done? It must be a...

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One of the French lords and a band of soldiers set a trap for Parolles as previously planned. They  capture and blindfold him and speak in a hilarious nonsense language which he takes to be Russian  — that is,  "Throca movousus, cargo, cargo, cargo. " To save his life, Parolles, as predicted,  immediately volunteers to betray anyone and anything: Oh, let me live!  And all the secrets of our camp I'll show,  Their force, their purposes; nay, I'll speak that  Which you will wonder at. (92-95) For Parolles, the Falstaffian mock-motto, "Discretion is the better part of valor," seems to apply.  There is no real surprise in his behavior, although his captors marvel at his self-knowledge:
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Unformatted text preview: Parolles: What shall I say I have done? It must be a very Plausive [plausible] invention that carries it. They begin to smoke me [find me out], anddisgraces Have of late knocked too often at my door. I find My tongue is too foolhardy. First Lord [aside]: This is the first truth that e'er thine own Tongue was guilty of. Second Lord: Is it possible he should know what he is, and Be that he is? (28-36) There is a sly joke embedded in this scene, in which the "man of words" (which is what Parolles' name literally means) is tricked by a plot which makes use of some assorted syllables of a gobbledygook language that Parolles thinks is Russian....
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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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