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All's Well That Ends Well is a play by William Shakespeare. It is believed to have been written between 1604 and 1605, and was originally published in the First Folio in 1623.Though originally the play was classified as one of Shakespeare's comedies, the play is now considered by some critics to be one of his problem plays, so named because they cannot be neatly classified as tragedy or comedy.Helena, the low-born ward of a Spanish countess, is in love with the countess' son Bertram, who is indifferent to her. Bertram goes to Paris to replace his late father as attendant to the ailing King of France. Helena, the daughter of a recently deceased doctor, follows Bertram, ostensibly to offer the King her services as a healer. The King is sceptical, and she guarantees the cure with her life: if he dies, she will be put to death, but if he lives, she may choose a husband from the court. The King is cured and Helena chooses Bertram, who rejects her, owing to her poverty and low status. The King forces him to marry her, but after the ceremony Bertram immediately goes to war in Italy without so much as a goodbye kiss. He says that he will only marry her after she has borne his child and wears his family ring. In Italy, Bertram is a successful warrior and also a successful seducer of local virgins. Helena follows him to Italy, befriends Diana, a virgin with whom Bertram is infatuated, and they arrange for Helena to take Diana's place in bed. Diana obtains Bertram's ring in exchange for one of Helena's. In this way Helena, without Bertram's knowledge, consummates their marriage and wears his ring. Helena returns to the Spanish countess, who is horrified at what her son has done, and claims Helena as her child in Bertram's place. Helena fakes her death, and Bertram, thinking he is free of her, comes home.
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ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL
Copyright © 2017 by William Shakespeare.
All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations em- bodied in critical articles or reviews.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organiza- tions, places, events and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
For information contact :
Sheba Blake Publishing
Book and Cover design by Sheba Blake Publishing
First Edition: January 2017
TABLE OF CONTENTS
KING OF FRANCE.
THE DUKE OF FLORENCE.
BERTRAM, Count of Rousillon.
LAFEU, an old Lord.
PAROLLES, a follower of Bertram.
Several young French Lords, that serve with Bertram in theFlorentine War.
Steward, Servant to the Countess of Rousillon.
Clown, Servant to the Countess of Rousillon.
A Page, Servant to the Countess of Rousillon.
COUNTESS OF ROUSILLON, Mother to Bertram.
HELENA, a Gentlewoman protected by the Countess.
An old Widow of Florence.
DIANA, daughter to the Widow.
VIOLENTA, neighbour and friend to the Widow.
MARIANA, neighbour and friend to the Widow.
Lords attending on the KING; Officers; Soldiers, &c., French and Florentine.
Rousillon. A room in the COUNTESS'S palace.
[Enter BERTRAM, the COUNTESS OF ROUSILLON, HELENA, and LAFEU, all in black.]
COUNTESS.In delivering my son from me, I bury a second husband.
BERTRAM.And I in going, madam, weep o'er my father's death anew;but I must attend his majesty's command, to whom I am now in ward, evermore in subjection.
LAFEU.You shall find of the king a husband, madam;--you, sir, a father: he that so generally is at all times good, must of necessity hold his virtue to you; whose worthiness would stir it up where it wanted, rather than lack it where there is such abundance.
COUNTESS.What hope is there of his majesty's amendment?
LAFEU.He hath abandoned his physicians, madam; under whose practices he hath persecuted time with hope; and finds no other advantage in the process but only the losing of hope by time.
COUNTESS.This young gentlewoman had a father--O, that 'had!' howsad a passage 'tis!--whose skill was almost as great as his honesty; had it stretched so far, would have made nature
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