List iconAll’s Well That Ends WellList icon

All’s Well That Ends Well
Act 3, scene 4

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Characters in the Play

Entire Play

In All’s Well That Ends Well, a woman is given in marriage to the man she longs for, but, because she…

Act 1, scene 1

Bertram, having become a ward of the court upon his father’s death, departs from Rossillion. Helen, whose own physician-father has…

Act 1, scene 2

The King of France refuses to take sides in the war between Siena and Florence, giving his courtiers permission to…

Act 1, scene 3

Bertram’s mother, the Countess of Rossillion, learns of Helen’s love for Bertram and forces Helen to confess this secret. When…

Act 2, scene 1

The King bids farewell to the French courtiers going off to war, having commanded Bertram to remain behind. Helen arrives…

Act 2, scene 2

The Countess sends the Fool to the court with a letter for Helen.

Act 2, scene 3

Having cured the King, Helen is given several courtiers from whom to choose a husband as her reward. When she…

Act 2, scene 4

Parolles brings Helen word that Bertram is leaving for Tuscany and that she is to get permission from the King…

Act 2, scene 5

Bertram is warned that Parolles is an untrustworthy coward. Bertram gives Helen a letter and instructs her to go immediately…

Act 3, scene 1

The Duke of Florence greets French courtiers who have come to fight on his side.

Act 3, scene 2

The Fool returns to Rossillion with a letter from Bertram that tells the Countess of his plan to run away…

Act 3, scene 3

Bertram is put in command of the Duke of Florence’s cavalry.

Act 3, scene 4

The Countess is given the letter left for her by Helen, in which Helen sets out her intention to make…

Act 3, scene 5

Helen, on her pilgrimage, meets Diana, whom Bertram has been attempting to seduce.

Act 3, scene 6

The French lords in Florence decide that Parolles’ unhappiness about the loss of the troop’s drum can be used as…

Act 3, scene 7

Helen enlists Diana’s mother in contriving to meet Bertram’s conditions. Diana will agree to sleep with Bertram on the condition…

Act 4, scene 1

Parolles is captured and blindfolded by a French lord and soldiers pretending to be the enemy who can speak to…

Act 4, scene 2

Diana agrees to lie with Bertram after he reluctantly gives her his ancestral ring.

Act 4, scene 3

News comes to the Duke of Florence’s court that Bertram’s wife has died while on pilgrimage. When Bertram enters, he…

Act 4, scene 4

Helen sets out with Diana and Diana’s mother to seek the King of France in Marseilles.

Act 4, scene 5

The Countess, who has learned of Helen’s death, receives word that the King of France is approaching Rossillion and then…

Act 5, scene 1

Helen finds herself unable to petition the King because he has already departed for Rossillion.

Act 5, scene 2

Parolles arrives at Rossillion and persuades Lafew to take him into his service.

Act 5, scene 3

The King forgives Bertram and agrees to a marriage between Bertram and Lafew’s daughter. Bertram gives Lafew a ring, which…

Act 5, epilogue

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Scene 4
Enter Countess and Steward, with a paper.

COUNTESS 
 Alas! And would you take the letter of her?
 Might you not know she would do as she has done
 By sending me a letter? Read it again.
STEWARD reads the letter 
 I am Saint Jaques’ pilgrim, thither gone.
5  Ambitious love hath so in me offended
 That barefoot plod I the cold ground upon,
  With sainted vow my faults to have amended.
 Write, write, that from the bloody course of war
  My dearest master, your dear son, may hie.

115
All’s Well That Ends Well
ACT 3. SC. 4

10 Bless him at home in peace, whilst I from far
  His name with zealous fervor sanctify.
 His taken labors bid him me forgive;
  I, his despiteful Juno, sent him forth
 From courtly friends, with camping foes to live
15  Where death and danger dogs the heels of worth.
 He is too good and fair for death and me,
 Whom I myself embrace to set him free.

COUNTESS 
 Ah, what sharp stings are in her mildest words!
 Rinaldo, you did never lack advice so much
20 As letting her pass so. Had I spoke with her,
 I could have well diverted her intents,
 Which thus she hath prevented.
STEWARD  Pardon me, madam.
 If I had given you this at overnight,
25 She might have been o’erta’en. And yet she writes
 Pursuit would be but vain.
COUNTESS  What angel shall
 Bless this unworthy husband? He cannot thrive
 Unless her prayers, whom heaven delights to hear
30 And loves to grant, reprieve him from the wrath
 Of greatest justice. Write, write, Rinaldo,
 To this unworthy husband of his wife.
 Let every word weigh heavy of her worth
 That he does weigh too light. My greatest grief,
35 Though little he do feel it, set down sharply.
 Dispatch the most convenient messenger.
 When haply he shall hear that she is gone,
 He will return; and hope I may that she,
 Hearing so much, will speed her foot again,
40 Led hither by pure love. Which of them both
 Is dearest to me, I have no skill in sense
 To make distinction. Provide this messenger.
 My heart is heavy, and mine age is weak.
 Grief would have tears, and sorrow bids me speak.
They exit.