"All's Well that Ends Well" The Task- Archetype    View Details    Create a Copy

All's Well That Ends Well by William Shakespeare

The protagonist of this famous play is Helena, she is the orphan daughter of a famous physician, who is adopted by the Countess of Rousillon. While in the Countess’s care Helena falls deeply in love with the Countess’s son, Count Bertram. Unfortunately, the count has been sent to the court of the King of France.

Although Helena is a very beautiful, she is not of noble birth and has no hope that the Count will ever be attracted to her. However, fate intervenes and the King of France becomes deathly ill, seeing this as her chance Helena leave for France and using her father’s teachings she is able to cure the King. As reward she is offered marriage to any man; of course she chooses Count Bertram. However, it is not a happy ending for Helena. Her husband despises her and does not see their marriage as a good match so he deserts her and goes to fight in the Duke of Florence’s army.

Soon after she received a letter from him stating that he will only accept their marriage on two conditions; the first is if she is able to get his family ring off his finger and the second is if she becomes pregnant with his child. Both of these the count declares will never happen. Although Helena is still deeply distraught, the Countess comforts her, and she decides to leave on a religious pilgrimage.

The setting flashes back to Florence where Bertram has become a general in the Dukes army. There he has become interested in a young girl named Diana. Helena then arrives to the city and finds Diana whom she enlists the help of to make both conditions happen, so that Bertram will accept their marriage. Diana is eager to help Helena and the two work on devising a plan. Diana is able to get the ring from Bertram as a sign of his love for her she then tells him to come to her room one night where the girls switch positions. While Bertram believes he is making love to Diana he is actually sleeping with Helena.

At this time, word is sent into the camp the Helena has died and Bertram decides to leave for France. Again with the help of Diana and her widowed mother, Helena and the ladies also returned to France. Once they are there everyone is morning over Helena however, she is not dead. The three women appear and explain exactly what happened in Florence. Having fulfilled both of Bertram’s conditions he agrees to be Helena’s husband and all’s well that ends well.

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