All's Well That Ends Well | Critical Essay by David S. Berkeley and Donald Keesee

This literature criticism consists of approximately 17 pages of analysis & critique of All's Well That Ends Well.
This section contains 4,960 words
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SOURCE: "Bertram's Blood-Consciousness in All's Well That Ends Well," in Studies in English Literature 1500-1900, Vol. 31, No. 2, Spring, 1991, pp. 247-58.

In the following essay, Berkeley and Keesee study the treatment Shakespeare gives to the cross-class marriage in All's Well That Ends Well, and suggest Helena's position may reflect circumstances in Shakespeare's own life.

All Shakespeare's plays exhibit more distancing between his classes—there are but two, armigerous and base—than do his primary sources, and in no play does he present a cross-class marriage such as that between base John Shakespeare and gentle Mary Arden of which he was a product. All's Well That Ends Well is an oddity in that it presents an enforced marriage between armigerous persons, Bertram of the high nobility and Helena, a "mean poor" gentlewoman. But the rule holds even here, as Helena bizarrely...

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This section contains 4,960 words
(approx. 17 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by David S. Berkeley and Donald Keesee
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Literature Criticism Series
Critical Essay by David S. Berkeley and Donald Keesee from Literature Criticism Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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