All's Well that Ends Well - Stuff that Happens in the Play

STUFF THAT HAPPENS

BEFORE THE PLAY

  • Helena, the orphaned daughter of a physician, lives as the ward of the Countess of Rossillion.
  • Bertram, the Countess’s son returns home to assume the title Count of Rossillion upon the death of his father.
  • The King of France is ill.

DURING THE PLAY

  • The Countess and Lord Lafew discuss the King’s poor health.
  • Bertram leaves Rossillion for the French court.
  • Helena expresses her secret love for Bertram.
  • Parolles, Bertram’s follower, discusses virginity with Helena.
  • Helena leaves for Paris to cure the King using one of her father’s remedies.
  • The Countess’s Clown jests about life at the King’s court.
  • The King recovers from his illness and grants Helena her choice of a husband from all the Lords at court. She selects Bertram; he refuses at first because “her breeding” is that of “a poor physician’s daughter,” but the King orders him to marry Helena.
  • After the wedding, Bertram declares that he will travel “to the Tuscan wars and never bed her” and leaves for Italy with Parolles.
  • Bertram sends a letter to Helena in which he vows not to accept her as his wife until she wears his ring and has conceived his child, which he declares will never happen. Helena vows to “steal away” from France.
  • In the Italian wars, the Duke of Florence makes Bertram a general; Bertram meets and plans to seduce a widow’s daughter named Diana.
  • Helena travels to Florence and also meets Diana.
  • Bed-tricks, little deaths, lies, and revelations ensue.

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