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Helen heals the King of France, and the King grants her permission to marry Bertram, the man she loves. Bertram rejects her and leaves a list of tasks that she must do to have him acknowledge their marriage. She follows him to Italy, completes all the tasks, and Bertram accepts her as his wife.

In the French province of Roussillon, the widowed Countess bids farewell to her son Bertram. Bertram is going to the court of the French King with his swaggering friend Paroles and the Lord Lafeu. Bertram leaves oblivious to the attentions of Helen, the orphan daughter of the Countess's celebrated physician.

Helen has been brought up in his mother's household and has fallen in love with Bertram. The Countess allows Helen to go to court and try her hand at curing the King's illness. Where others have failed, she succeeds, and as a reward, the King asks her to choose a husband from among his wards. Who else would she choose but Bertram? Bertram sees the alliance as beneath him. After the marriage ceremony, he runs away and plans to join the wars in Italy with Paroles. He writes to Helen that he will not acknowledge their marriage until she can prove she wears his heirloom ring and carries his child.

Helen returns home to Roussillon, but she does not give up. Instead, she soon leaves and, disguised as a pilgrim, follows Bertram to Florence.

Bard on the Beach

There, she befriends a widow and her daughter Diana. Meanwhile, Bertram has formed an obsession with Diana during his time in Italy. The soldiers jokingly trick Paroles into proving he is a coward, while Bertram makes intentions to sleep with Diana. Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead, excessive grief the enemy to the living. Diana plots to help Helen fulfil Bertram's impossible requests for marriage. Milward was taken ill again on 2 February and died on 6 February.


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Henry Woodward — popularised the part of Parolles in the era of David Garrick. The play, with plot elements drawn from romance and the ribald tale , depends on gender role conventions, both as expressed Bertram and challenged Helena. With evolving conventions of gender roles, Victorian objections centred on the character of Helena, who was variously deemed predatory, immodest and both "really despicable" and a "doormat" by Ellen Terry , who also—and rather contradictorily—accused her of "hunt[ing] men down in the most undignified way".

In Frederick S.

Two Steps From Hell - All Is Hell That Ends Well (SkyWorld)

Boas coined the term "problem play" to include the unpopular work, grouping it with Hamlet , Troilus and Cressida and Measure for Measure. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about Shakespeare's play. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. The Times Literary Supplement.

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Gender and performance in Shakespeare's problem comedies. The Rough Guide to Shakespeare. London: Penguin. The Guardian. Retrieved 9 May The Independent. Lawrence, Shakespeare's Problem Comedies Globe : 48— The Observer. Retrieved 5 July London: Nick Hern Books. Some account of the English stage: from the Restoration in to Bath, England: Carrington. A biographical dictionary of actors, actresses, musicians, dancers, managers and other stage personnel in London, — Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

SparkNotes: All's Well That Ends Well: Summary

Osborne Brigstocke, ed. Broken nuptials in Shakespeare's plays. William Shakespeare. Quarto publications First Folio Second Folio. The Passionate Pilgrim To the Queen.


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Works by Thomas Middleton. The Decameron c. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history.

All's Well That Ends Well Synopsis

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