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All's Well That Ends Well

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  10,484 Ratings  ·  382 Reviews
The Cambridge School Shakespeare Series approaches the plays in a new way, by encouraging students to actively examine them, working in groups as well as individually, and to treat them as scripts to be re-created, with theatrical and dramatic qualities to explore.
Paperback, Wordsworth Classics, 113 pages
Published April 1st 1995 by NTC/Contemporary Publishing Company (first published 1602)
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Mike I don't think Shakespeare's going to object, and as far as I'm aware, titles are not copyrighted. You'll find plenty of books with the same titles.

Community Reviews

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Bill  Kerwin

I just can't bring myself to love this play, although I believe I understand what Shakespeare is doing here. He takes a fairy tale plot, adds a fiercely realistic setting (complete with a pointless war and friendly fire), adds a desperately mismatched romantic couple (Helena, a commoner and a control-freak, a woman of great passion and intelligence, obsessively smitten with the noble Bertram, a proud, shallow boy), tops it off by giving the comedy a mindlessly optimistic title and then spending
Aug 08, 2015 Ted rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Not 3 1/2, 4
I enjoyed this play more than I thought I would, partly due to the excellent production of it I watched. Certainly more to think about here than the previous two comedies I read.

I. All’s Well That Ends Well

The name of this play has become almost a hackneyed phrase in the English language. It’s a phrase that hackneyed me has used countless times, since I became familiar with it so many decades ago. But for all that, it’s not one of Shakespeare’s more popular plays, and is seldom perfo
Jason Koivu
All's well that ends well...sure, but does it really end well? Really?

A simple maid with the one remedy for what ails the king, cures him and receives as her reward the hand in marriage of a high-born courtier. The groom-to-be won't submit to wed such a lowly personage, nay! His refusal is seen as base and tarnishes his reputation, so he flees to the wars, for it is through deeds of bravery that he will redeem himself. Slight of hand and high japery set the scene for misunderstandings and tricky
Jul 05, 2011 Bram rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, the-bard
Where can you go after writing Hamlet? Only into the bitterest depths of irony and nihilism, apparently. All’s Well That Ends Well is part of the problem play trilogy that followed soon after the Danish Prince’s demise and Malvolio’s humiliation, and it appears on the surface to be less twisted than both Troilus and Cressida and Measure for Measure. But don’t be fooled. Shakespeare plays one of his greatest tricks on the audience here, achieving something difficult and deeply unsatisfying, which ...more
Andrei Tamaş
Feb 17, 2016 Andrei Tamaş rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Totu-i bine când se sfârşeşte bine", piesa lui Shakespeare, este... o tragedie evitată în ultimul moment (a se consemna!).
Poate din pricina asta, critica literară consideră piesa o comedie. E drept că titlul oferă, aparent, nuanţe comice, însă eu n-am văzut niciun dram de comic în piesă. Este mai degrabă o drama a cărei ultima scenă al ultimului act este comică (deoarece toţi sunt împăcaţi).
Nuanţele dramatice ale piesei (ce pot fi sesizate abia astăzi, iar nu în epoca lui Shakespeare) sunt dat
Feb 28, 2008 Kimberly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ALright, obviously I am biased - being that I will be playing the heroine May through September...but before all that, when I first read this play last winter it became my favorite play by Shakespeare. This is the best edition f the play, and has a brilliant introduction. Helena is the first female physician ever created, and her strength, daring, and unabashed lack of self-respect where her feelings for Bertram are concerned make her a fascinating subject and a great role model in many ways.
Aug 08, 2015 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: playscript


"Set in France and Italy, All's Well That Ends Well is a story of one-sided romance, based on a tale from Boccaccio's The Decameron.

Helen, orphaned daughter of a doctor, is under the protection of the widowed Countess of Rossillion.

In love with Bertram, the countess' son, Helen follows him to court, where she cures the sick French king of an apparently fatal illness.

The king rewards Helen by offering her the husband of her choice. She names Bertram; he resists.

When forced by the king to
Dec 26, 2010 Bonnie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, plays
HELENA: I am hopelessly in love with Bertram! But he is a count and I am but a lowly physician's daughter and the ward of his mother the Countess! Woe!
RANDOM GUY: Hey, the king's sick!
HELENA: Well, I am a physician's daughter...
KING: You have cured me, Helena! I'll give you anything you want. What would that be? Gold? Pretty baubles? A new dress?
HELENA: Bertram.
KING: Well, I am king. So be it!
BETRAM: AH HELL NO. *runs away to fight with the Duke of Florence*

HELENA: Woe! Bertram will never be my
Liz Janet
Feb 28, 2015 Liz Janet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
Helena loves Bertram. Bertram does not love Helena. Helena saves king, King marries them. Bertram runs away. Helena chases. He takes up sex with virgins. She tricks him. In the end Bertram loves Helena, and All's Well That Ends Well.
Feb 14, 2017 Robert rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
I believe some-one who reads my reviews wanted me not to spoil this play - well I'm gonna, so stop reading now if you don't want to know any plot details!

This is considered one of the "problem" play, as far as I can tell, because it doesn't really fit neatly into any of the standard genres of the period. It certainly isn't Tragedy or History and despite having an irrelevant and silly side plot in the vein of Much Ado About Nothing or Twelfth Night, it doesn't really hold up as a Comedy in the se
Charles Matthews
Time for another run-through of Shakespeare's plays. The last time I did this, I wrote an article for the Mercury News about reading all the plays in alphabetical order, which meant I had to start with All's Well That Ends Well. I called it one of Shakespeare's worst plays, which rather shocked an academic friend of mine who is uneasy about such critical judgments. So I promised myself that this time around I wouldn't start out with such a harshly prejudicial point of view.

I still hold that if y
Dounia Elbouzidi
"المواهب إذا لم تقترن بالفضيلة تتحول إلى نقائص مخزية."
"أود أن أموت لأني لا أحب أن أكون مصباحا خاليا من الزيت لا أضيء للأجيال التي خبا ذكاؤها ولم تعد آمالها تتعدى أناقة الملابس وبهرجة المظاهر التي تتبدد قبل أن يتغير زي الثياب."
"أحبب كل الناس يا ولدي، ولا تثق إلا بالنخبة منهم دون أن تسبب ضرر لأحد. تسلح لمجابهة عدوك بالتحذير لا بالعنف، واترك خصمك دوما تحت رحمة مقتضيات مصالحك. دع الناس تأخذ عليك السكوت ولا تفسح لهم مجال لومك على كثرة الكلام."
Stuart Aken
How do you go about reviewing a work that must have been described, analysed and generally pulled apart by thousands of readers, writers, scholars and professional reviewers? Well, as I see it, the only thing to do is give a very personal opinion.

Shakespeare is, of course, our national bard, our cultural hero, if we write in English. So, the reviewer better beware if he says anything untoward. But I set myself a target and I'm determined to hit it. The target? As a writer, to read and review at
May 14, 2015 Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not even attempting to make informative, original reviews on my run through the great mans work. I'm not the man for the job.

When reading his plays for the first time I'm not afraid to admit I don't always pick everything up. And I'm sure a lot of his great words in general are wasted on me.

However I am so often struck by the beauty of his language or the insight his words and story convey that I can't help but enjoy them. and leave the reading happier and somehow more enlightened. If someti
Sep 09, 2014 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this play a number of years ago; it struck me then that the character of Bertram, the young man is who married off to a woman who loves him deeply but whom he doesn't love in the least, is a difficult part to play. At first he behaves as someone stuck in a position might: he flees the scene. In the climax he's cornered by his own foolishness, and has to turn around and claim the love of the woman. Of course marriage in those days wasn't necessarily looked upon only in the romantic love se ...more
Janine Zachariae
Sep 30, 2015 Janine Zachariae rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Helena wants to marry Bertram but he wants to go the king to be sended to the war as a soldier.
Meanwhile the king is ill but Helena promise to have something to heal him.

It's an interesting drama. Really weird but it is Shakespeare and he is the best to describe scenes between a king and a maid.
I love Shakespeare.

Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.

oh, and put a ring on. Maybe it is of the kings, or from Bertram.
Oct 26, 2008 Stevie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There are parts of this particular play that I really like. The storyline and especially the ending (All's Well that Ends Well) that has gotten so much grief are actually the reasons I like it. I enjoy that it has a bit of a bitterness to it even though it's a comedy. And the comedic parts are indeed funny. I did have a really hard time with the actual writing. The verse and prose are all over the place with no real reason for how they are chosen. There is not the calculation that we see in most ...more
I found "All's Well that Ends Well" to be really uneven. Helena is in love with Bertram, who apparently hates her for no reason and treats her shabbily... apparently that's incredibly attractive. Of course, with the title the play has, you can guess it's all going to go swimmingly well for Helena even if she has to trick her way into it.

Actually, Helena was a pretty interesting character as far as Shakespeare's women go (but she was no Lady MacBeth.) However, there seemed to be a lot of filler c
Susan Taylor
Feb 03, 2015 Susan Taylor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this play after reading the story in Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare. I always enjoy the complicated situations Shakespeare's characters get into, and how they extricate themselves from them. I was satisfied with the conclusion, after Bertram finally writhes a bit. However, I did give it just four stars (really just comparing Shakespeare to Shakespeare) because it does seem to end too abruptly, one would like to be more convinced of the "ever after."
Lexxie (un)Conventional Bookviews
All's Well that Ends Well is dubbed 'a problem play' in the introduction, because it's neither tragedy, comedy nor history. However, the wordplay is so excellent, and the gender role reversals very interesting.

Full review to come soon.

This and all my other reviews are originally posted on my blog (un)Conventional Bookviews
This was a very confusing play for me. Helena running to and fro, trying to justify her behavior towards her step mother, her future husband, to just about everyone around her it drive me crazy. Yes, she's a very strong character but ended up being a caricature for me. It was far too slap stick a comedy for me. One of Shakespeare's weakest.
Oct 28, 2010 notgettingenough rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
Is it? I wouldn't know.


Note to Manny. My reviews just haven't done it for you lately. Gee, I've even removed my latest at your wish. Well, I've been up all night working out this one, so I hope it is to your taste. Etc etc, Yours.
Nov 10, 2013 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first comedy to read from Shakespeare, as I've gravitated toward the tragedies or histories most. I certainly must have liked it as I read the whole play in a single evening. :-)
Laurel Hicks
This play by Shakespeare has a worrisome plot, but Shakespeare carries it off flawlessly and it does indeed end well. The Arkangel dramatization is , as usual, wonderful.
Gary Butler
Mar 08, 2012 Gary Butler rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: play
13th book read in 2012.

Number 167 out of 245 on my all time book list.

Follow the link below to see my video review:
This had a very surprising ending. Really enjoyed reading it.
Hanady Alsharif
خيبت آمالي، البداية كانت موفقه أما النهاية لم تكن قوية في وقعها كاسمها!
Ah. The Globe version is so good.
Jessica Barkl
Well, I read this for the first time in 2003 for an audition monologue I was assigned, which, also ended up being the monologue that I did in order to book my first Equity have a lot of wonderful feelings about this play. I was honored to have played the character in that monologue (Helena) in a full production in 2006. I was deathly sick for the entire run, but I really loved playing Helena. I hope I don't get too old, and (maybe) I could do it, again.

Anyway, this was a lovely remi
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Is Bertram's free will violated, or is he too stubborn to see what's good for him? 1 6 Jun 27, 2012 06:25AM  
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William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been tr ...more
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“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” 32066 likes
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