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Summary Act 4

Scene 1

Scene 1 takes place outside the Forentine military camp and being with the Second French Lord and five or six soldiers waiting for Poralles in ambush. The French lord tells his soldiers that they all need to speak in a fake language so Poralles won't know it is a trick. One of the soldiers is assinged to be an interpreter. Parolles enters the scene and an interesting bit of dialouge occurs. Parolles bemoans his lie about getting the drum and tries to think of good lies to tell Bertram. Meanwhile, the second French lord hidden from sight whispers a jilting response to each one. Then a drum sounds and the ambush is sprung.

Parolles, believing he has been captured by Russians because of the strange language, quickly surrnders, is bound and blindfolded. Then he swears that he has vital information that he is willing to give to the enemy if they will not hurt him. The Second lord asks one of the soldiers to go get Count Rousilon and his brother and tell them that Parolles has been caught and tricked. Everyone exits the scene.

Scene 2

Scene 2 takes place in the Widow's house and begins with Bertram and Diana entering the scene. Bertram is flattering Diana trying to convince her let him bed her. She refuses and Bertram asks why not. Diana says it is because he is already married. Bertram swears that he has not intention of returning to his wife. Diana doubts this and Bertram swears that it is true. Eventually Diana demands that Bertram give her his family ring. He refuses claiming that it is a family heirloom Diana says that it is the only way she will agree to lay with him. Bertram agrees to give her the ring and Diana tells him to meet her at midnight but not to speak to her for an hour and during that time she will put a ring on his finger. Bertram agrees and shortly both depart the scence.

Scene 3

Scene 3 takes place in the military camp outside Florence. The two French Lords enter the scene followed by two or three soldier. The two French Lords are talking about a letter that was given to Bertram, the letter informed Bertram that his mother disavowed him and the King of France was unhappy with him. As they talk we learn that people believe Bertram to have succeeded in bedding Diana. Also we find out that the war has come to an end. Perhaps most startling of all we learn that Helena has died.

Bertram enters the scene and informs the two French lords that he has burried his wife and written his mother to let her know he is coming back. He then tells them to bring Parolles out so that he can see if he really is a liar and coward. The two French lords bring Parolles out who is blindfolded and begin to pretend to question him as Russians. Parolles easily breaks and even insults Bertrams capabilities as a leader and suggest the Count is a coward. At this point they unblindfold Parolles who learns of their trick and is speechless. As Bertram and the French lords leave, Pallores simply states "who cannot be crushed with a plot.

Scene 4

Scene 4 takes place in the Widow's house. Helena, the Widow, and Diana enter the scene. Helena explains that people believe she is dead and wants the widow and Diana to keep her secret. They agree and the three women plan to leave to Marseilles to see the king. The primary purpose of this short scene is to show that Helena is still alive.

Scene 5

Scene 5 takes place in Rousillon. The Countess, Lafeu, and the Clown enter speaking sadly of Helena's death. During the conversation the Clown makes several ribald remarks which irritate Lafeu. The clown exits and the Countess and Lafeu talk about how Bertram is coming home and how the King plans to visit them. Lafeu also asks the countess if he can have is daughter marry Bertram now that Helena is dead, the Countess agrees. The clown returns announcing that Bertram has arrived but that he is wounded. All three leave the scene to meet Bertram.

William Shakespeare