Countess of Rossillion
The Countess of Rossillion is Bertram’s mother, and she is still mourning the recent death of her husband. She has also willingly become Helena’s guardian since the young woman’s father, a physician of local renown, has also recently passed away. Kind and generous, the countess exemplifies the best of the noble tradition and encourages Helena’s love for Bertram, even though she thinks her son is foolish and headstrong for rejecting the talented, vivacious girl. The countess rates honesty and virtue higher than valor in battle or nobility of rank, even when this means that she must side against Bertram. She believes her son is old enough to get married, but too young to go into battle. She mourns Bertram’s departure for Paris in the same way she mourns the loss of her husband.
The countess’s fondness for Helena is evident when she tells the girl she loves her as if she were her own daughter. But when Helena offers to . . . Read More
Bertram (Count of Rossillion)
Bertram is the Count of Rossillion. His father has recently died, and his mother, the Countess of Rossillion, is still in mourning. Bertram is quite young, perhaps no more than twenty, and he is eager to join the king’s ranks in Paris and then go off to battle in Florence. Bertram’s best friend is Parolles, but he is oblivious to the fact that Parolles is an opportunist and a scoundrel. Bertram balks at marrying Helena because she is a commoner with no wealth or status. He agrees reluctantly only after the king promises to endow Helena with wealth and a title in order to sweeten the deal. This is evidence of Bertram’s snobbishness, as Helena’s social standing outranks all her other positive qualities in Bertram’s eyes. Finding himself trapped in a marriage to Helena, whom he does not love, he flees to Florence to join the wars. While there, he proves himself valiant on the battlefield, and his reputation as a hero . . . Read More
Act 1, Scene 1
All’s Well That Ends Well opens at the palace in Rossillion, a region in France that borders Spain and the Mediterranean Sea. Here, the Countess of Rossillion mourns her recently deceased husband and the imminent departure of her son, Bertram, the Count of Rossillion, who has been summoned to Paris by the king. The countess and her friend, the elderly Lord Lafew, discuss the king’s poor health and lament that Gerard de Narbon, a famous court doctor who has just died, is not around to heal him. The doctor’s daughter, the beautiful and vivacious Helena, has become the countess’s ward. In a soliloquy, Helena reveals her love for Bertram. Because she is a commoner, there is no hope of them being together, and yet she cannot bear the thought of his departure. Parolles, Bertram’s best friend, whom Helena acknowledges is a liar and a coward, enters and engages Helena in a coarse conversation about the pros and cons of her virginity. Helena . . . Read More
All’s Well That Ends Well was probably written sometime between 1600 and 1605, and many experts date the work to 1603. Others believe that the play is the lost Shakespearean drama titled Love’s Labour Won, which was written before 1598. The first written mention of the play under its current title appeared in 1623, when it was licensed to be printed in Shakespeare’s Folio. Attempts to date the play have involved a bit of detective work regarding some of its language, particularly Helen’s letter to the countess in act 3, which exemplifies Shakespeare’s less-sophisticated early style. Conversely, some critics note similarities between the tone and style of the play with that of Measure for Measure, which was written in 1604. Some commentators have theorized that the uneven nature of the play suggests that it was written at two different times in Shakespeare’s life. This sketchy history indicates that the play did not attract much attention when it was first written and . . . Read More
Over the course of the last century, incidents of melanoma have steadily increased. There are various factors behind this trend, but chief among them is radical lifestyle changes adopted by people. As societies became more and more industrialized, activities involving sun-exposure had correspondingly declined. No more do a majority of people spend hours in the farm or participate in communal outdoor activities. With our bodies and skin thus conditioned to minimal sunlight, sudden bursts of exposure could prove dangerous. With tanning of skin becoming an obsession among fair-skinned women, young white women are particularly at high risk for developing melanoma. There is also an environmental dimension to the steady rise of skin cancer cases across the world. This has to do with the depletion of the earth’s ozone layer. This allows an excessive amount of Ultra Violet radiation to filter through the atmosphere. Although application of sunscreen and protective clothing somewhat . . . Read More
Summary of article:
The article titled ‘Finding Employees and Keeping Them: Predicting Loyalty in the Small Business’ accounts for various factors that determine employee loyalty in small businesses.
The authors assert that employees in small businesses are expected to be more versatile and dynamic. This makes hiring the right people a little challenging. In larger businesses, each employee is a specialist in a particular facet of business. To this extent, job descriptions can be sharply defined and employees hired in numbers. (Dyer and Reda 2010)
Indeed, as the study identifies, small businesses which adopt a formalized hiring process tend to perform better than their less structured counterparts. For example, parameters such as financial performance, revenue growth, as well as owners’ success perception, all point to this correlation. More importantly, selection of personnel inadequately skilled for the role has a detrimental effect on . . . Read More
Joseph Conrad’s novella is an encapsulation of the experience of colonialism from the point of view of Europeans. Based on his own seafaring voyages across the colonies, Conrad attempts to picture the dichotomy of civility and barbarity. Through the characters of Kurtz, Marlow, the Russian and the natives, a composite picture of colonial Africa is presented.
Chinua Achebe’s controversial critique of Heart of Darkness condemns Conrad as a blatant racist. This is most evident in the fact that the steamboat’s crew is comprised of a native helmsman and twenty ‘cannibals’. There are also sightings of disembodied heads of natives intended to scare trouble-makers. Further depictions of barbarism come in the form of sudden attacks with arrows and spears that the sailors on the boat encounter. Achebe takes particular objection to the manner in which Conrad compares river Thames with river Congo. He remarks sardonically in his essay, “But if it [Thames] were to visit its . . . Read More
The Romantic and Realist eras were sharply differentiated in terms of style and content of art. Yet, they are united in being born as reactions to styles precedent to theirs. Romanticism, for example was born as a reaction to the rational-scientific emphasis of the Age of the Enlightenment. Where Romantic art differed from scientific disposition is in its novel approach to creation. While science seeks to “explain what exists, art seeks to create something new—but something that bears a distinct relationship to what exists.” (Benton & Diyanni 2011) Likewise, the Realist era was inspired by the perceived excesses of the Romantic style. It is not for us to judge if one stylistic movement is superior to the other. They both sprung from a natural artistic longing for novelty and experimentation. It is fair to say that Western civilization is richer for these periodic upheavals in art. Both Romanticism and Realism showcased different sets of tendencies and aspirations in art . . . Read More
The reinvention of Twelfth Night by production company Shotgun Players has several interesting elements. The modern adaptation of the Shakespearean classic is ebullient with innovation and experimentation. The uniqueness of the play is in showcasing how Shakespeare could be transformed into a musical feature.
Director John Tracy presents a unique interpretation of the Shakespearean classic without sacrificing its essence. The numerous musical interludes and the over-the-top slapstick comedy are deliberate ploys on the part of the director. The purpose for these additions is to augment the entertainment value of the play. Given that Twelfth Night is an out-and-out comedy, these improvisations enhance, rather than detract from, the effectiveness of the play. The only thematic element in the sets used is that of a sea-side. All the props and costumes reflect a sunny coastal town without revealing any specifics. The free-floating placement of musical instruments serves as . . . Read More
During the era of the Enlightenment there was a debate among physicists as to the nature of reality. There were two metaphysical conceptions of qualities of matter. John Locke was the proponent of the distinction between primary and secondary qualities of matter. According to him, primary qualities are those that are objective facts pertaining to an object, which remain universally true irrespective of the perception of the observer. For example, a rectangular plate will remain a rectangle and under no conditions can one describe it as a circular object. Locke went on to assert that secondary qualities are those given rise through the senses of the observer. These include the color, smells, sound and taste of the object. These qualities are subjective to the particular observer and there could be divergence in how they are sensed. For example, an apple might taste sweet for one person while another might think it tastes bland. Locke contended that this dichotomy of qualities existed . . . Read More