All's Well That Ends Well Study Guide

All's Well That Ends Well

All's Well That Ends Well by William Shakespeare

All's Well That Ends Well is a comedic tragedy, or problem play, about young nobleman Bertram and his mother's ward, doctor's daughter Helena. Taking place for the most part in early Renaissance France, the play deals with Helena's attempts to trick Bertram into marrying her. It introduces foundational dramatic techniques like the Bed Trick and plays with Elizabethan morals as they relate to marriage, war, inheritance, and filial duty to the throne.

All's Well That Ends Well Quotes

All's Well That Ends Well is a play by William Shakespeare. It is often considered one of his problem plays, not easily classifiable as a comedy or tragedy. It was probably written in the later middle part of Shakespeare's career, between 1601 and 1608.

Act I

  • 'T were all oneThat I should love a bright particular star,

    And think to wed it.

    • Helena, scene i

  • The hind, that would be mated by the lion,Must die for love.
    • Helena, scene i

  • Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie,Which we ascribe to Heaven.
    • Helena, scene i

  • His good remembrance, sir,Lies richer in your thoughts, than on his tomb;

    So in approof lives not his epitaph,

    As in your royal speech.

    • Bertram, scene ii

  • Service is no heritage.
    • Clown, scene iii

  • He must needs go, that the devil drives.
    • Clown, scene iii

  • Even so it was with me, when I was young:If we are nature’s, these are ours; this thorn

    Doth to our rose of youth rightly belong:

    Our blood to us, this to our blood is born;

    It is the show and seal of nature’s truth,

    Where love’s strong passion is impress’d in youth:

    By our remembrances of days foregone,

    Such were our faults;— or then we thought them none.

    Her eye is sick on’t: I observe her now.

    • Countess of Rousillon, scene iii

  • My friends were poor, but honest.
    • Helena, scene iii

Act II

  • Great floods have flownFrom simple sources; and great seas have dried,

    When miracles have by the greatest been denied.

    Oft expectation fails, and most oft there

    Where most it promises.

    • Helena, scene i

  • I will show myself highly fed, and lowly taught.
    • Clown, scene ii

  • They say, miracles are past.
    • Lafeu, scene iii

  • All the learned and authentic fellows.
    • Lafeu, scene iii

  • From lowest place when virtuous things proceed,The place is dignified by the doer’s deed.
    • King of France, scene iii

  • A young man, married, is a man that’s marr’d.
    • Parolles, scene iii

  • Make the coming hour o’erflow with joy,And pleasure drown the brim.
    • Parolles, scene iv


  • No legacy is so rich as honesty.
    • Mariana, scene v

Act IV

  • The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.
    • 1st Lord, scene iii

  • Simply the thing I amShall make me live.
    • Parolles, scene iii

  • All's well that ends well still: the fine's the crown;Whate'er the course, the end is the renown.
    • Helena, scene iv

Act V

  • Whose words all ears took captive.
    • Lafeu, scene iii

  • Praising what is lost,Makes the remembrance dear.
    • King of France, scene iii

  • For we are old, and on our quick'st decreesThe inaudible and noiseless foot of time

    Steals, ere we can effect them.

    • King of France, scene iii

  • All impediments in fancy’s courseAre motives of more fancy.
    • Bertram, scene iii

  • 'T is but the shadow of a wife you see,The name and not the thing.
    • Helena, scene iii

  • The bitter past, more welcome is the sweet.
    • King of France, scene iii

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