All's Well That Ends Well moves quickly. Did you finish Act II? Here's the gist:
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.
This scene is rather brief. In it, the Countess sends the Clown to France to get news of her son from Helena.
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.
Parolles tells Helena that, since Bertram must leave for a time, the marriage must be delayed.
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.
For Thursday, on to Act III!
Day 1 of this new endeavor was a success, although I am glad I didn't set my sights any higher than the completion of Act I. So here's the recap:
- The Countess, a nice old lady whose husband died.
- Bertram, the son of the Countess.
- Helena, the ward of the Countess
- Parolles. I don't know yet how he is going to play into the plot, but Helena calls him a "notorious liar."
- Lafeu, an ambassador from the King of France.
In this scene, we are introduced to the main characters. We find out that Bertram's father has recently died and that Bertram is heading to France.
In Scene II, Bertram arrives in France and is received kindly by the King of France, who is apparently suffering from some disease that no one can cure.
A steward tells the Countess that Helena secretly loves Bertram. The Countess calls Helena in and tricks her into confessing her love for Bertram. Helena then explains that she has in her possession a cure for the King of France. The Countess sends Helena off to France to cure the King and win Bertram's heart.
For Monday…..Act II.
I have a lot of "eventually" goals. Eventually, I'd like my scrapbook photo albums to be current. Eventually, I'd like to go to England. Eventually, I'd like to read all of Shakespeare's plays.
The problem with "eventually" goals is that they must be turned into manageable pieces to actually become reality. My scrapbook albums are being completed a page at at time. If I can do a page a week, I'll be caught up by the time I'm, oh, 45 or so.
But I could be working on the Shakespeare goal more effectively right now. I'd love to read the plays that I haven't read. I'd like to re-read the plays that I frantically raced through during high-school and college English classes.
So here's the plan for turning "eventually" into reality. There are 37 Shakespeare plays. Every play is 5 acts long. The acts are fairly manageable pieces. My plan is to read 2 acts a week, and to complete a play every 2 and 1/2 weeks.
I'll chronicle the journey here to motivate myself to keep reading. Join me! Maybe I'll only make it partway to my "eventually" goal, reading one or two plays that I've never read. But maybe….just maybe…I can make it all the way.
Friday's goal: Act I of "All's Well that Ends Well."
What are some of your "eventually" goals? How do you plan to turn them into reality?