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All's Well That Ends Well

All's Well That Ends Well

Marriage Quotes Page 1

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Tell me thy reason why thou wilt marry.
LAVATCH
My poor body, madam, requires it: I am driven on
by the flesh; and he must needs go that the devil drives. (1.3.6)

According to Lavatch, the only reason to get married is so one can have sex without committing a sin or a crime (since sex outside marriage was considered illegal). Notice how there's nothing in this passage about marriage being a union based on love or even mutual respect.

Quote #2

as Tib's
rush for Tom's forefinger (2.2.4)

Lavatch is pretty cynical, don't you think? Here, it's obvious that he thinks relationships between men and women boil down to one thing: "Tib's rush for Tom's forefinger." What does this mean? Well, "Tib" is a common name for a prostitute and a "rush" is a rustic wedding ring made out of reeds. There's also a dirty joke at work; Lavatch is playing on the fact that a woman's vagina was sometimes referred to as a ring.

Quote #3

Fair maid, send forth thine eye: this youthful parcel
Of noble bachelors stand at my bestowing,
O'er whom both sovereign power and father's voice
I have to use: thy frank election make;
Thou hast power to choose, and they none to forsake. (2.3.1)

When Helen cures the king and wins the right to choose any husband she wants, things go down like a reality TV show. Here, the king lines up Paris' eligible bachelors and lets her take her pick. The whole thing is a dream come true for Helen; but when the king offers Helen a husband as a prize, it suggests that marriage is some kind of a game, rather than a sacred union.

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