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Certainly the Widow’s decision may be considered a joke, as Eumolpus intends. However, her explanation of her love for the Soldier makes the situation far more serious than it might at first appear. Whether the story will be liked or not will depend upon individual readers. Many might dismiss it as misogynistic and therefore dated. Others, however, may find that the portrait of the Widow rises above the ostensible debunking of her vow of self-sacrifice, and that this inadvertent sympathy makes her worthy of admiration. That is one of the most usual universal statements: rising above one's normal actions.
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