List iconAll’s Well That Ends WellList icon

All’s Well That Ends Well
Act 3, scene 7

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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 7
Enter Helen and Widow.

HELEN 
 If you misdoubt me that I am not she,
 I know not how I shall assure you further
 But I shall lose the grounds I work upon.
WIDOW 
 Though my estate be fall’n, I was well born,
5 Nothing acquainted with these businesses,
 And would not put my reputation now
 In any staining act.
HELEN  Nor would I wish you.
 First give me trust the Count he is my husband,
10 And what to your sworn counsel I have spoken
 Is so from word to word; and then you cannot,
 By the good aid that I of you shall borrow,
 Err in bestowing it.
WIDOW  I should believe you,
15 For you have showed me that which well approves
 You’re great in fortune.
HELEN  Take this purse of gold,
 And let me buy your friendly help thus far,
 Which I will overpay and pay again
20 When I have found it. The Count he woos your
 daughter,
 Lays down his wanton siege before her beauty,
 Resolved to carry her. Let her in fine consent
 As we’ll direct her how ’tis best to bear it.
25 Now his important blood will naught deny
 That she’ll demand. A ring the County wears
 That downward hath succeeded in his house
 From son to son some four or five descents
 Since the first father wore it. This ring he holds
30 In most rich choice. Yet, in his idle fire,
 To buy his will it would not seem too dear,
 Howe’er repented after.

135
All’s Well That Ends Well
ACT 3. SC. 7

WIDOW 
 Now I see the bottom of your purpose.
HELEN 
 You see it lawful, then. It is no more
35 But that your daughter, ere she seems as won,
 Desires this ring, appoints him an encounter,
 In fine, delivers me to fill the time,
 Herself most chastely absent. After,
 To marry her, I’ll add three thousand crowns
40 To what is passed already.
WIDOW  I have yielded.
 Instruct my daughter how she shall persever
 That time and place with this deceit so lawful
 May prove coherent. Every night he comes
45 With musics of all sorts and songs composed
 To her unworthiness. It nothing steads us
 To chide him from our eaves, for he persists
 As if his life lay on ’t.
HELEN  Why then tonight
50 Let us assay our plot, which, if it speed,
 Is wicked meaning in a lawful deed,
 And lawful meaning in a lawful act,
 Where both not sin, and yet a sinful fact.
 But let’s about it.
They exit.