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Quotes

Quote #1

In delivering my son from me, I bury a second husband. (1.1.1)

Hmm. This is quite a depressing opening line, wouldn't you say? Basically, the countess compares the act of "delivering" (saying goodbye to) her son to the recent loss of her late husband. We also notice that her use of the word "delivering" is also a pun on the act of delivering a baby, which creates a connection between childbirth and death.

Quote #2

He hath abandoned his physicians, madam; under whose
practices he hath persecuted time with hope, and
finds no other advantage in the process but only the
losing of hope by time. (1.1.2)

Okay. Not only has Bertram's father died when the play opens, but we also find out that the king of France is on his death bed. Way to set a dark tone for the entire play, Shakespeare.

Quote #3

This young gentlewoman had a father,--O, that
'had'! how sad a passage 'tis!--whose skill was
almost as great as his honesty; had it stretched so
far, would have made nature immortal, and death
should have play for lack of work. Would, for the
king's sake, he were living! I think it would be
the death of the king's disease. (1.1.3)

Another dead dad? You've got to be kidding, right? Here, we learn that Helen has also lost a father. Not only that, but he was the only guy in the world who could have cured the king's mysterious illness.

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