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All's Well That Ends Well

3.62  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,436 Ratings  ·  346 Reviews
The daughter of a renowned physician pursues her passion for an elusive bridegroom through a comic maze of mistaken identities, betrayals, repentance, and dramatic revelation. This extraordinary combination of romantic melodrama and outright farce offers a thought-provoking subtext on the way to fulfilling the promise of its title.
Kindle Edition, 204 pages
Published (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.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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 18, 2016 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 11, 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 19, 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
Apr 14, 2010 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
Osama Nour
بمناسبه الذكري ال 400 لموت شاعر المسرح العظيم وليم شكسبير الذي لو نعت بكل الصفات ما وفي حقه
قررت قراءة 3 مسرحيات له وهما (العبره بالخواتيم - مكبث - تاجر البندقيه ) بالاضافه الي ترجمه عنه
وبفضل الله تمكنت من انهاء اول مسرحيه (العبره بالخواتيم ) ونصف ترجمته تقريبا وفي الغد انشاء التكمله
عن المسرحيه

العبره للخواتيم هي احدي مسرحيات شكسبير المدرجه تحت تصنيف الكوميديا المره او الكوميديا المعتمه ولقد سماها بعض
الباحثين هي وترويلوس وكرسيدا ، الصاع بالصاع ضمن المسرحيات المشكله
Liz BooksandStuff
May 03, 2016 Liz BooksandStuff 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.
May 15, 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
Oct 15, 2011 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
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
Feb 03, 2015 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
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
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.
Susan Taylor
Feb 06, 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."
Oct 27, 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
Daniel Apatiga
Mar 11, 2015 Daniel Apatiga rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well the play was well written, of course because it was by Shakespeare. But the reason why I really liked it was because it was not exactly a complete comedy, rather, it touched on some serious dilemmas that most people face even today. In terms of successful or failed relationships, Petrarchan (unfulfillable love) that Shakespeare paints, was done in a way that suggests unrequited love does not happens all the time. In "All's Well that Ends Well," the friendship between Helen and Bertram becam ...more
Cindy Rollins
Hmmm. A virtuous maid falls for a rogue and manipulates a marriage. The rogue continues to behave abominably until the maid tricks him into getting her pregnant and somehow through all this he falls in love with her. The ever faithful Helena says several times during the play, "All's well that ends well." Truly she has remarkable, if misplaced, faith.

A couple of social comments. The mores of this play are interesting. It is pro-marriage. It is pro-chastity. It is negative towards youthful indis
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.
Ah. The Globe version is so good.
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. :-)
Gary Butler
May 01, 2015 Gary Butler rated it liked it
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:
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.
Vane J.
Apr 05, 2015 Vane J. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All's well that ends well? Is that so, William?

Helena is a young woman whose father has just died. Mourning and in love, she cures the King of France of a disease. In exchange, the King is going to let her marry with whomever she pleases. Thus, she chooses the man he loves, but he does not love her back. In fact, he says she's not going to be her wife unless she obtains his family ring and she carries his child.

The man Helena loves is not a good guy. After the King forces he to marry Helena, he

I was reading a free Kindle download of "All's Well That Ends Well". It read as though Shakespeare was making up Latinate words on the run (some which have been reinvented or have evolved a quite different meaning) and pointlessly torturing syntax. I know those are the sorts of things he liked to get up to but I'd never had so much trouble understanding him. As the early scenes are set at courts, I was guessing also that the linguistic showing off was meant to indicate that we were observing a
Shakespeare's comedies just don't thrive the page like his tragedies.

I read this right before seeing a production of it by the American Shakespeare Company. While I read Parolles' overblown speeches and Latvach's clever puns, I knew they were supposed to be funny, but I didn't really laugh until I saw them acted out on stage. Not just the physical slapstick needs to be seen to be appreciated, but normal jokes need to be heard. A lot of how funny a joke is depends on how it's delivered.

Of cours
Apr 12, 2010 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I periodically pick up my Shakespeare anthology to soak in the timeless wisdom, and rarely am I disappointed. But there's a first time for everything. I suppose even Shakespeare slipped into prosaic demagoguery every once in a while in order to set his barbs deeper into the more vulgar members of the adoring public. All's Well That Ends Well didn't pack the same punch with an undercurrent of meaning that I look for in grandfather Bill's bottom lines. It was a fun, unpredictable story that made g ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Description in wrong language 3 18 Apr 29, 2016 06:25PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Alternate book cover 4 10 Aug 04, 2014 11:51AM  
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.” 30969 likes
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