Shakespeares Widows

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Shakespeare Sonnet 009 - Is it for fear to wet a widow's eye

Diana insists the meeting with Bertram must be in the dark, and a disguised Helen takes Diana's place. During the night, Bertram gives Helen his ring thinking that she is Diana , and they conceive a child. Back at the French court, Helen is presumed dead in Roussillon due to her absence. Bertram returns to France, where his mother and Lafeu have arranged for Bertram to marry Lafeu's daughter.

Shakespeare's Widows | Derby Theatre

Bertram gives Lafeu, as a betrothal token, a ring that he had been given on his midnight meeting with Helen in Florence. The King and others recognise the ring to be one that the King had given to Helen on her marriage. Before the situation can be resolved, Diana arrives at court with Bertram's ring and accuses him of seducing and then deserting her.

Bertram denies her, but Lafeu withdraws his offer of his daughter, suspecting falsehood.

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The King orders Diana away to prison, but stops when the widow brings in Helen to be a witness to Diana's story. The King and her friends recognise the pregnant Helen and welcome her. Diana acknowledges that the ring given to her by Bertram came from Helen. They also recognise that Helen is wearing Bertram's ring and carrying his child.

She met both of his qualifications for accepting the marriage. Bertram asks pardon and accepts his wife. The King allows Diana, in recompense for her troubles, to choose a husband among his courtiers and promises her a dowry.

The play ends as everyone goes in together to talk over their stories. Everything ends happily.


Act III He writes to Helen that he will not acknowledge their marriage until she can prove she wears his heirloom ring and carries his child. Visit Shakespeare's family homes. Read more play summaries. Article Navigation.

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Close mobile search navigation Article Navigation. Volume Dorothea Kehler. Margaret Mikesell. Oxford Academic.

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