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All's Well That Ends Well

All's Well That Ends Well (a Dark Comedy)

This play concerns a maid, Helena, who cures the King of France of a disease, then asks for Lord Bertram's hand in marriage. Bertram obliges, then quickly flees to Italy to engage in war, hoping for death to avoid marriage. Helena is greatly hurt, and sets out on a pilgrimage, only to wind up in Florence, Italy, where she meets Bertram's new young mistress, Diana. In a perplexing "bed trick," Helena sleeps with Bertram, while Bertram believes he is sleeping with Diana. This act secures Helena's bond to Bertram, and Bertram, matured by war, consents to happily love Helena and their future child. Other characters include Lafew (Lafeu), a wise old lord; Parolles, an obsessive liar and follower of Bertram; the Countess, the mother of Bertram and stepmother of Helena; the Clown, a witty servant to the Countess; and a Widow, the mother of Diana.

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Recent Forum Posts on All's Well That Ends Well

Helena's sililoquy

I am preparing for an audition using Helena's monologue from Act III Scene 2. I am working on it on my own and was hoping someone might be able to help me understand the text. When Helena asks herself "Shall I stay her to do't?", what exactly is she referring to? I have a few ideas but I want to be very specific and would appreciate some help from fellow Shakespeare fans! Thanks in advance!!

All's Well When Written Well

A Classic Comedy. A Must-Read or Watch.


Currently doing a monologue from the play. Act III, scene 2, to be exact. Helena's part at the end of the scene.... strange how this play is so overlooked. It's perhaps a little dark for a modern day audience, with Bentram so prejudiced against Helena and her methods of aquiring his love. As a comedy, it's hardly "they all lived happily ever after" style, but I still love it, despite it being quite different. And personally, I fancy this unrequited-love Helena than she of a Midsummer Night's Dream (see the parallels? Both in love with someone who doesn't love them and mananging to win their love in the end.)

I Was Satisfied!!!!

I only read the summary, but it was excellent! Shakespeare is such a wonderful playwright! I hope all of his plays turn to movies so I could see them!

No Subject

How can you not like it. All in better judgement i guess? Well im inly 15. Maybe with time I can see your piont.


you know i cant say that this is my fav. peice of the master S. but i cant say its the worse. i am doing this play for a shakespeare fes. and i am really excited about it. i looked at the other comments and i agreed with all of them. i am only 14 and i am in love with shakespeare. hes amzing! well i just thought i would add a young taste to the list of comments! sorry if i cant spell! thats not my strong point!

Performing Alls Well

Currently playing the clown in Alls Well... Interesting character less clearly defined than many of S's clowns. Still think it is a difficult and (dare I say it) not very well structured play!

A must see!!!

An extremely important--and often overlooked--work. Contains all the seeds of the highly-successful tragedies that lay ahead. An outstanding production currently at Stratford Festival in Canada. A must see!!


I have read this play and I have seen it performed. Consequently, this is one of my least favorite Shakespeare performances. The problematic comedy situations are a bit too dark for the average reader's taste, I would say. If you are just starting to read Shakespeare, steer clear of this gem for awhile!

No Subject

Very wise and wonderful play!

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