All's Well that Ends Well


William Shakespeare

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All's Well that Ends Well: Act 4, Scene 4 Summary & Analysis

Read our modern English translation of this scene.
The next day, Helen journeys with the widow and Diana to go find the king of France in Marseilles. She thanks Diana and her mother for helping her in her plot against Bertram (which went successfully), and tells them that everyone else thinks she is dead. She says that she will go and hurry to France with Diana and the widow to conclude matters with Bertram, since “all’s well that ends well,” and only the end is what matters, “whate’er the course” it takes to get there.
Helen has found a remedy for her seemingly impassable problem with Bertram. She has deceived Bertram in bed and lied generally in faking her own death, but in her mind all this deception is justified if it can contribute to her goal of making Bertram live up to his role as her husband, since “all’s well that ends well.” But do the ends necessarily justify the (deceptive) means in such a situation?
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Lies, Deceit, and Trickery Theme Icon