"She Is A Woman, Therefore To Be Won"

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Last Updated on July 19, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 153

Context: The setting is before the French city of Angiers. After an alarum, the Earl of Suffolk enters, holding by the hand Margaret, daughter of Reignier and afterwards King Henry's queen. Suffolk calls her "nature's miracle" and tries to scheme how he, a married man, can play suitor to her. While she talks of ransom, he talks to himself about his desire for her, though he is afraid she will repulse his advances. He reassures himself, however, by saying, in a passage almost identical to one in Titus Andronicus (Act II, sc. i, l. 82) that, after all, she is only a woman.

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Why speak'st thou not? What ransom must I pay?
SUFFOLK [aside]
She's beautiful, and therefore to be wooed.
She is a woman, therefore to be won.
Wilt thou accept of ransom, yea or no?
SUFFOLK [aside]
Fond man, remember that thou hast a wife,
Then how can Margaret be thy paramour?

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