List iconAll’s Well That Ends WellList icon

All’s Well That Ends Well
Act 4, 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 Helen, Widow, and Diana.

HELEN 
 That you may well perceive I have not wronged you,
 One of the greatest in the Christian world
 Shall be my surety, ’fore whose throne ’tis needful,
 Ere I can perfect mine intents, to kneel.
5 Time was, I did him a desirèd office
 Dear almost as his life, which gratitude
 Through flinty Tartar’s bosom would peep forth
 And answer thanks. I duly am informed
 His Grace is at Marseilles, to which place
10 We have convenient convoy. You must know
 I am supposèd dead. The army breaking,
 My husband hies him home, where, heaven aiding
 And by the leave of my good lord the King,
 We’ll be before our welcome.
WIDOW 15 Gentle madam,
 You never had a servant to whose trust
 Your business was more welcome.
HELEN  Nor you, mistress,
 Ever a friend whose thoughts more truly labor
20 To recompense your love. Doubt not but heaven
 Hath brought me up to be your daughter’s dower,
 As it hath fated her to be my motive
 And helper to a husband. But O, strange men,
 That can such sweet use make of what they hate
25 When saucy trusting of the cozened thoughts
 Defiles the pitchy night! So lust doth play
 With what it loathes for that which is away.
 But more of this hereafter.—You, Diana,
 Under my poor instructions yet must suffer
30 Something in my behalf.
DIANA  Let death and honesty
 Go with your impositions, I am yours
 Upon your will to suffer.

175
All’s Well That Ends Well
ACT 4. SC. 5

HELEN  Yet, I pray you—
35 But with the word “The time will bring on summer,”
 When briers shall have leaves as well as thorns
 And be as sweet as sharp. We must away.
 Our wagon is prepared, and time revives us.
 All’s well that ends well. Still the fine’s the crown.
40 Whate’er the course, the end is the renown.
They exit.