Look what I baked for Shakespeare's birthday! Aren't they pretty?
That said, there are some really masterful touches in this play, starting with the language. Like a lot of late-ish Shakespeare, it’s written in a strange idiom, elliptical and riddling and hard to parse, but incredibly expressive. Take, for example, this exchange:
Helena: ... Now shall he –
I know not what he shall. God send him well.
The court’s a learning place, and he is one –
Parolles: What one, i’ faith?
Helena: That I wish well. ‘Tis pity.
Parolles: What’s pity?
Helena: That wishing well had not a body in’t
Which might be felt, that we, the poorer born,
Whose baser stars do shut us up in wishes,
Might with effects of them follow our friends
And show what we alone must think, which never
Returns us thanks.
No wonder poor Parolles is confused; Helena practically never spits out a whole sentence, and the syntax of that last speech is beyond convoluted – but with a sudden flash of clarity and eloquence: “we, the poorer born / Whose baser stars do shut us up in wishes.” (Also, of course, Helena doesn’t directly confide her love for Bertram; she speaks in riddles, almost from the beginning to the end of the play.)
And perhaps, after all, she’s under no illusions about her prospects for happiness with him; the most she says of her hopes for the future is “the time will bring on summer, / When briers shall have leaves as well as thorns, / And be as sweet as sharp.”
Favorite moment: Parolles getting kidnapped by fake Muscovites. Gotta love the gibberish. Throca movosus, cargo, cargo, cargo! Oscorbidulchos volivorco!