A line-by-line translation

All's Well That Ends Well

All's Well That Ends Well Translation Table of Contents

Now you can read All's Well That Ends Well alongside a modern translation that anyone can understand. Use the translation to enrich your understanding of Shakespeare's original and avoid getting bogged down in archaic language.

Act 1, Scene 1

Bertram leaves to serve the king. Helena pines for him. She decides to take action to win his love.

Act 1, Scene 2

The King welcomes Bertram to the French court, remembers the good old days with Bertram's father, and prepares to die.

Act 1, Scene 3

Helena confesses her love for Bertram to the Countess. Helena prepares to go to the court to offer a cure to the king.

Act 2, Scene 1

Bertram wants to join the war. Helena convinces the King to try her medicine; if it works, she can pick her own husband.

Act 2, Scene 2

The Countess sends her clown to court. He entertains her with his favorite catchphrase, "Oh Lord, sir!"

Act 2, Scene 3

The king has been cured. Helena selects Bertram as her husband. The king forces him to marry her. Bertram plans to flee.

Act 2, Scene 4

Helena jokes with the Clown. Parolles tells her that Bertram's suddenly been called away and she must leave court too.

Act 2, Scene 5

Lafeu warns Bertram about Parolles. Bertram tells Helena to go home ahead of him. He makes plans to flee to the war.

Act 3, Scene 1

The Duke of Florence discusses the war with two lords and anticipates the arrival of French troops.

Act 3, Scene 2

Bertram writes that he won't be with Helena until she can somehow become pregnant with his child and wear his ring.

Act 3, Scene 3

The Duke of Florence gives Bertram command over his cavalry. Bertram accepts and prepares for battle.

Act 3, Scene 4

The Countess reads Helena's letter. Helena claims she's gone on a pilgrimage so that Bertram will return from the war.

Act 3, Scene 5

Helena arrives at the home of a Florentine widow where she learns that Bertram hopes to seduce a young maid, Diana.

Act 3, Scene 6

Two lords convince Bertram that Parolles is untrustworthy. They plan to trick him into revealing his true nature.

Act 3, Scene 7

Helena reveals her identity to the widow. She plans for Diana to invite Bertram to bed, but Helena will take her place.

Act 4, Scene 1

The lords capture Parolles and convince him that he has been abducted by an enemy army that does not speak his language.

Act 4, Scene 2

Diana gives into Bertram's wooing on the condition that he gives her his ring and visits her by night in silence.

Act 4, Scene 3

Parolles reveals all his army's secrets and tells lies about his comrades. The soldiers reveal themselves and shame him.

Act 4, Scene 4

Helena expresses her gratitude to Diana and the widow. They're off to see the king. They pledge mutual loyalty.

Act 4, Scene 5

The Countess mourns Helena's supposed death and prepares for Bertram's return home. She hopes the King will forgive him.

Act 5, Scene 1

Helena, the Widow, and Diana find out the King's left court for Rousillion. She sends a letter to him and follows after.

Act 5, Scene 2

Now disgraced, Parolles begs Lafeu for his help. Lafeu agrees to assist Parolles in getting back on his feet.

Act 5, Scene 3

Helena arrives at court. She announces that she has completed Bertram's tasks. He swears that he will love her.
Dan rubins
About the Translator: Dan Rubins

Dan Rubins is currently completing his MA in Shakespeare Studies from King's College London/Shakespeare's Globe and will be pursuing an MA in Elementary Inclusive Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. He holds a BA in English from Yale University. His Masters dissertation focuses on announcements of death in early modern drama, and other research areas of interest include Shakespeare in transformative contexts (prisons, schools, etc.) and rhyme in Shakespeare's dramatic texts. In addition to teaching and learning, he also writes theatre reviews (often of Shakespeare productions), composes musical theatre (frequently with Shakespearean inspirations), and sings in choirs (occasionally in Shakespearean choral settings).