All's Well That Ends Well Essay

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W. W. Lawrence and Robert Hapgood evaluate Helena in glowing terms; everything she says and does is noble, heroic, and fully justified. They find her ability to fulfill the terms of Bertram's letter clever and courageous. E. K. Chambers and Clifford Leech conclude otherwise. Chambers describes her as a woman driven by sex alone and a degraded example of womanhood. Leech finds her devious in her ambition and the planning of her ultimate victory- her final union with Bertram- unsavory.

Other critics argue that her character is more multidimensional than the critics above suggest. Robert Grams Hunter and Sharon R. Yang, for example, find in her regenerative qualities, whereby she restores the kingdom and redeems Bertram. Michael Shapiro argues that Helena and Bertram are mutual redeemers, whereby each character "regains through submission and humility what has been lost through self-assertion."'

Susan Snyder describes the odd mix in...

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This section contains 9,039 words
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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.