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All's Well That Ends Well Act 4, Scene 5 Summary

  • Meanwhile, back in Roussillon, Lafeu, the countess, and Lavatch have heard the rumor that Helen has died of a broken heart.
  • They're devastated.
  • Lafeu blames everything on Paroles, who has been nothing but a "villainous saffron" and a bad influence on Bertram.
  • The countess can't believe that her precious Helen is gone. It's as if she's lost a child she personally gave birth to.
  • Lavatch tries to compare Helen to a delicate herb in a salad, which somehow (not surprisingly) leads to a series of dirty jokes.
  • Lafeu tell him he's a knave and a fool and orders him to scram, or else.
  • We learn that Lavatch used to be employed by the countess's dead husband, which means he can't be fired, even though he's totally out of control.
  • Lafeu reports that the king of France has just left Marseilles and is on his way to visit the countess here at Roussillon (which means that poor Helen is headed for the wrong French town).
  • Lavatch runs into the room and yells out that Bertram's has arrived home.
  • Not only that, but he's brought a bunch of his pals and they're all wearing crazy hats that the older generation just doesn't understand. 
  • Also, Bertram has a giant Band-Aid on his face.
  • Lavatch and Lafeu argue about whether the Band-Aid is covering up (a) a battle wound, or (b) a scar that's been caused by syphilis. (In other words, is Bertram coming home a war hero or sex-crazed disgrace? Or some combination of the two?)

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