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All’s Well That Ends Well, Part II

July 5, 2010

All's Well That Ends Well moves quickly. Did you finish Act II? Here's the gist:

Scene I

The King sends his soldiers off to the war with Italy. Helena arrives at the French court and announces that she possesses a cure for the King's illness. She then strikes a deal with the king: if her cure succeeds, he must let her take the husband of her choice.

Scene II

This scene is rather brief. In it, the Countess sends the Clown to France to get news of her son from Helena.

Scene III

Helena cures the king and he allows her to choose her husband. She chooses Bertram, much to his dismay. In order to delay the marriage, Bertram decides to run to France, leaving Helena with his mother.

I can't help but be irritated at Bertram in this scene. His snobby attitude seems uncalled for and certainly is unlike the Countess' behavior. But I suppose the plot demanded it.

Scene IV

Parolles tells Helena that, since Bertram must leave for a time, the marriage must be delayed.

Scene V

Bertram says goodbye to Helena. He bids Helena to take a letter to his mother and leaves, refusing to kiss her. After Helena leaves the stage, Bertram swears that he will remain from home as long as Helena lives there.

The plot thickens. If you're behind in the reading, check out the recap of Act I.

For Thursday, on to Act III!