Between these two soliloquies stands Helena's jocular conversation with Parolles
. What is it in her dialogue with Parolles
that alters her tone from despairing recusancy in her first soliloquy to confident, moral purposiveness in her second?
Throw in the usual brace of sub-plots (Bertram's pals pretend to be Russian soldiers and capture Parolles
, his rather revolting friend, and teach him a humiliating lesson; the Countess, Bertram's mother, actually sides with Helena and disowns her son when he treats his intended with disdain) and a bit of female empowerment (Helena teams up with both Diana, the woman Bertram is trying to seduce, and her mother, the widowed proprietor of the inn at which Bertram is staying) and you've got a titillating tale of romance, friendship and family drama that's still very relevant 400 years on.
(3) Stuart Gillespie identifies the conventional company: 'Shakespeare's braggart soldier figures (such as Don Armado, Parolles
, Bardolph, Pistol and Falstaff) have their ancestry in Plautus's miles gloriosus'; Shakespeare's Books: A Dictionary of Shakespeare's Sources (London, 2004), 415-7, http://dx.doi.org/10.5040/9781472555328.
(35) King Charles VIII thought otherwise, however, asserting that "certaines moralitez et farces, ont publiquement dit ou fait dire plusieurs parolles
seditieuses sonnans commotion, principalement touchans a nous et a nostre estat" (certain morality plays and farces ...
While Act 1 set the scene and explained the plot, Act 2 was full of hilarity, mostly delivered by either David Stonehouse as a marvellous Parolles
, or John Cleaver, as the amusing interpreter in the extremely comical ambush and interrogation scene, where Parolles
is the butt of the joke.
"J'avois bien ouy dire," ce dist Longarine, "que les Italiens estoient subjects a trois vices par excellence; mais je n'eusse pas pense que la vengeance et cruaulte fut allee si avant, que, pour une si petite occasion, elle eut donne si cruelle mort." Saffredent, en riant, luy dist: "Longarine, vous nous avez bien dict l'un des trois vices; mais il faut scavoir qui sont les deux autres?"--"Si vous ne les scachiez," ce dist-elle, "je les vous apprendrois, mais je suys seure que vous les scavez tous."--"Par ces parolles
," dist Saffredent, "vous m'estimez bien vitieux?" ...
No decurso dos textos, ha sempre um lamento tragico de um Parolles
ou de um Shylock que denuncia algo incompativel com esses desfechos, e cuja lembranca permanece para espectadores mais atentos, mesmo em meio as festividades idilicas do final.
A similar pun about date and fashion is given by Parolles
in the opening scene of All's Well that Ends Well.
Jonathan Slinger, seen as Hamlet earlier in the season, returns as Bertram's camp friend Parolles
, a wisecracking shyster with neither courage nor scruple.
But the object of her desire is oblivious to the love he inspires and is busy with his own life at court with dubious friend Parolles
at his side to lead him astray.
Kit, in his accepted persona as M'sieur de Parolles
, was by now established as a party animal and a provider of masques and had his ear to the ground below stairs.
This is the text's way of preparing for the loss predicted in the sibyl's written answer to Panurge's nagging question, which he expresses "en briefves parolles
" ("in a few words") (388; Frame 306).