Synopses & Reviews
Virtuous maidens, vulgar soldiers, and witty fools populate this extraordinary play, a lively romp that ranges from low farce to moments of great insight. Although the play is a romantic comedy, Shakespeare offers some serious and thought-provoking dramatic fare before fulfilling the promise of the title.
In the fine tradition of the Bard's plucky heroines, All's Well That Ends Well concerns Helena, the daughter of a renowned physician, and her dauntless passion for the elusive Bertram, Count of Rousillon. Risking her very life for the opportunity to choose Bertram as her husband, Helena's bid for Bertram's hand turns out to be only the beginning of a series of trials and tribulations. Finally, at the end of a comic maze of mistaken identities, betrayals, repentance, and dramatic revelations, Helena's efforts to corral her unwilling lover achieve joyful fulfillment.
An ambiguous work in which mirthful entertainment is interwoven with a powerful subtext condemning class prejudice, this play possesses a singular combination of amusement and profundity that has intrigued scholars and theatergoers for four centuries.
The daughter of a renowned physician pursues her passion for an elusive bridegroom through a comic maze of mistaken identities, betrayals, repentance, and dramatic revelation. An extraordinary combination of romantic melodrama and outright farce.
About the Author
"He was not of an age, but for all time," declared Ben Jonson of his contemporary William Shakespeare (1564-1616). Jonson's praise is especially prescient, since at the turn of the 17th century Shakespeare was but one of many popular London playwrights and none of his dramas were printed in his lifetime. The reason so many of his works survive is because two of his actor friends, with the assistance of Jonson, assembled and published the First Folio edition of 1623.