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Quotes

Quote #4

I have been, madam, a wicked creature, as you and
all flesh and blood are; and, indeed, I do marry
that I may repent. (1.3.7)

According to Lavatch, the best reason for him to get married is so that he can have sex with a woman without sinning or breaking the law. What's this all about? Well, sex outside of marriage (a.k.a. fornication) was illegal in Shakespeare's day. It was also widely considered a major sin for which one should repent.

Quote #5

Tax of impudence,
A strumpet's boldness, a divulged shame
Traduced by odious ballads: my maiden's name
Sear'd otherwise; nay, worse--if worse--extended
With vilest torture let my life be ended. (2.1.5)

This is weird, right? Why does Helen worry that she'll be called a "strumpet" if people were find out she tried to cure the king's disease? Well, it seems like Helen's afraid that people will think she knows a little too much about male anatomy if she has close contact with an older man who isn't her husband. Unfortunately, Helen is probably right. Even Lafeu cracks a crude joke about Helen playing doctor. When he introduces her to the king, he says "I am Cressid's uncle, / That dare leave two together" (2.1.8). In other words, Lafeu compares himself to Pandarus (a notorious pimp who acts as a go-between in Troilus and Cressida).

Quote #6

Mine honour's such a ring:
My chastity's the jewel of our house,
Bequeathed down from many ancestors;
Which were the greatest obloquy i' the world
In me to lose: thus your own proper wisdom
Brings in the champion Honour on my part,
Against your vain assault. (4.2.8)

When Bertram says that his precious ring is a family heirloom, Diana replies that her virginity is actually a lot like his ring because it's the "jewel of [her] house." What does this mean? Well, she's basically saying that if she loses her virginity to Bertram before she's married, no one else will ever want to marry her. This idea keeps resurfacing throughout the play. In fact, at the very end, the king of France promises to help Diana find a husband, but only if she's still a virgin.

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