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Quotes

Quote #1

Who comes here?
Enter PAROLES
One that goes with him: I love him for his sake;
And yet I know him a notorious liar,
Think him a great way fool, solely a coward;
Yet these fixed evils sit so fit in him,
That they take place, when virtue's steely bones
Look bleak i' the cold wind: withal, full oft we see
Cold wisdom waiting on superfluous folly. (1.1.2)

Helen knows that Paroles is a "notorious liar" and a "coward," but she pretends to love him; she knows that Paroles is a good friend of Bertram, who seems to be the only one in the play who doesn't see Paroles for who he really is.

Quote #2

You must not marvel, Helen, at my course,
Which holds not colour with the time, nor does
The ministration and required office
On my particular. Prepared I was not
For such a business; therefore am I found
So much unsettled: this drives me to entreat you
That presently you take our way for home;
And rather muse than ask why I entreat you,
For my respects are better than they seem
And my appointments have in them a need
Greater than shows itself at the first view
To you that know them not. This to my mother:
Giving a letter
'Twill be two days ere I shall see you, so
I leave you to your wisdom. (3.1.11)

Why can't Helen see that Bertram is a jerk? Here, he tricks her into returning home to Roussillon without him, promising to follow in a couple days. Helen is caught completely off guard when she later learns that Bertram has run off to Italy. Clearly, Helen can't see Bertram for who he really is. Does this suggest some deep flaw in her character?

Quote #3

I, with a troop of Florentines, will suddenly
surprise him; such I will have, whom I am sure he
knows not from the enemy: we will bind and hoodwink
him so, that he shall suppose no other but that he
is carried into the leaguer of the adversaries, when
we bring him to our own tents. Be but your lordship
present at his examination: if he do not, for the
promise of his life and in the highest compulsion of
base fear, offer to betray you and deliver all the
intelligence in his power against you, and that with
the divine forfeit of his soul upon oath, never
trust my judgment in any thing. (3.6.4)

The elaborate prank that's played on Paroles parallels the bed trick that Helen and Diana play on Bertram. Both tricks occur on the same night and both involve victims that are essentially blind. Paroles is literally blindfolded at one point and Bertram can't see because it's dark.

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