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Quotes

Quote #1

BEROWNE: [Reads] 'Item. That no woman shall come within a mile of my court'- Hath this been proclaimed?
LONGAVILLE: Four days ago.
BEROWNE: Let's see the penalty. [Reads] '-on pain of losing her tongue.' (1.1.28-30)

Longaville came up with this harsh punishment for women– probably thinking, out of sight, out of mind.

Quote #2

KING: It was proclaimed a year's imprisonment to be taken with a wench.
COSTARD: I was taken with none, sir; I was taken with a damsel.
KING: Well, it was proclaimed damsel.
COSTARD: This was no damsel neither, sir; she was a virgin.
KING: It is so varied too, for it was proclaimed virgin.
COSTARD: If it were, I deny her virginity; I was taken with a maid.
KING: This 'maid' not serve your turn, sir.
COSTARD: This maid will serve my turn, sir. (1.1.88-95)

Costard thinks if he can name the right kind of lady, he might just be able to get out of his punishment. And then finishes off his argument with sexual innuendo.

Quote #3

PRINCESS OF FRANCE: Only for praise; and praise we may afford
To any lady that subdues a lord. (4.2.13)

Like the men, the women think of a lover as someone to be conquered.

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