All's Well That Ends Well Essay

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Alice Shalvi and J. A. Bryant argue that since Helena is legally Bertram's wife, her use of the bed-trick is lawful. Bertram set before her impossible demands, and the bed-trick proves a useful and legal way of meeting those demands. Eileen Z. Cohen notes that the disguise of the bed-trick solidifies the marriage between Helena and Bertram, and Helena saves Bertram in the process. Shalvi adds Diana to the people whom Helena saves- she saves Diana's virtue as a virgin as well as Bertram from the shame of adultery.

Michael Shapiro, Maurice Charney, Julia Briggs, and Janet Adelman take a different approach toward the bed-trick, doubting its efficacy. Shapiro argues that although the bed-trick surely allows Helena to meet Bertram's demands, she is not convinced herself that her actions are entirely legal. Charney finds the substitution of one woman for another, as if all women are alike, unsavory...

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This section contains 4,746 words
(approx. 12 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the All's Well That Ends Well Study Guide
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Shakespeare for Students
All's Well That Ends Well from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.