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All's Well That Ends Well

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

Summary of the plot or story
The play's central romantic figures are a young nobleman called Bertram and an orphaned commoner called Helena. The problems with their romance are due to their different backgrounds and that it is at first a one-sided affair with Helena falling in love with Bertram. Being a comedy, (albeit with serious undercurrents), Bertram comes around and All's Well does indeed End Well.

Information provided about the play
William Shakespeare never published any of his plays and therefore none of the original manuscripts have survived. Eighteen unauthorised versions of his plays were, however, published during his lifetime in quarto editions by unscrupulous publishers (there were no copyright laws protecting Shakespeare and his works during the Elizabethan era).

A collection of his works did not appear until 1623 ( a full seven years after Shakespeare's death on April 23, 1616) when two of his fellow actors, John Hemminges and Henry Condell, posthumously recorded his work and published 36 of Williamís plays in the First Folio. Some dates are therefore approximate other dates are substantiated by historical events, records of performances and the dates plays appeared in print.

Date first performed
It is believed that the drama was first performed between 1602 and 1603. In the Elizabethan era there was a huge demand for new entertainment and All's Well That Ends Well would have been produced immediately following the completion of the play.

Date first printed
It is believed that the script was first printed in 1623 in the First Folio. As William Shakespeare clearly did not want his work published details of the play would have therefore been noted, and often pirated without his consent, following a performance.

The settings
The settings for the drama are in Rousillon, Paris, Marseilles in France and Florence, Italy.

Theme of the play
The play is categorised as a Comedy

Number of words in All's Well That Ends Well
The number of words in the script, according to the Complete Public Domain Text is 24,505

Most important characters
The most important characters are Helena and Bertram

Famous Quotes / Quotations
The quotes from the work are amongst Shakespeare's most famous including 'Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie'. Details of this famous quote follow, complete with information regarding the Act and the Scene, allowing a quick reference to the section of the play that this quotation can be found in. Please click here for the full text of the script of the play.

"Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie, which we ascribe to Heaven."
Act I, Scene I

Shakespeare's Main Source
Shakespeare's Main Source for All's Well That Ends Well is probably the Decameron

The Cast and Characters
Click the link to access a list of all the cast and characters.

Text - script of All's Well That Ends Well play by William Shakespeare
Cast and characters in the play Alls Well that Ends Well by William Shakespeare
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