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Word Count: 1,979
In order to understand the moral implications of the bed-trick in Shakespeares Alls Well That Ends Well one must examine who is involved in the scheme and to what end Once this is clear it becomes obvious that the bed-trick has no moral message in and of itself rather the bed-trick is according to William Bowman a morally neutral device used by Shakespeare in a moral context The bed-trick is an off-stage event that contributes to the plays characterization as a problem comedy not only because of the not-so-happy ending but because it deceives the audience into thinking the tricksters intentions are fully justifiedIt is generally accepted that comedy should be responsive to the desires of the audience that it have a moral function and that it supply a happy ending Alls Well That Ends Well in a sense does respond to the needs of the audience by bringing two potential lovers together The main character Helena obtains the one person she has yearned for all her life Count Bertram The one thing that the play is lacking is the typical comedic happy ending due to the fact that Helena and Bertram are united solely because of Helenas manipulation of certain situationsThe first situation Helena finds herself in is that she wants to earn a husband In order to do so she plans to heal the sick King in order to be repaid with the man of her choice Helena is successful and her reward is the choice of any man in the kingdom Helena chooses Count Bertram The Count however in no way desires Helena and he is forced by the King to marry her To avoid having to consummate the marriage Bertram goes to war While there he begins to woo an Italian maiden named Diana His plan is to bed Diana without being obligated to her later Helena ends up in Italy happens upon Diana and finds out about Bertrams scheme This
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