All's Well That Ends Well
All's Well That Ends Well Family Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
And I in going, madam, weep o'er my father's deathanew: but I must attend his majesty's command, towhom I am now in ward, evermore in subjection. (1.1.1)
Bertram is not only mourning his father's death, he's also unhappy that he has to leave his home in Roussillon to travel to Paris (where he'll live as the king of France's "ward”). Since Bertram's father is no longer alive, the king acts as Bertram's new dad until he's old enough to legally manage his own affairs.
This is pretty similar to the opening of Hamlet, where an entire court is mourning the death of the old king and a young man (Laertes) is preparing to leave home. Hamlet, by the way, was written around the same time as All's Well, so we're not surprised by the connection.
COUNTESS The remembrance of her father never approachesher heart but the tyranny of her sorrows takes alllivelihood from her cheek. No more of this, Helen;go to, no more; lest it be rather thought you affecta sorrow than have it.HELEN I do affect a sorrow indeed, but I have it too.LAFEU Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead,excessive grief the enemy to the living. (1.1.6)
This passage also reminds us a lot of Hamlet. Remember when Prince Hamlet's mom and new step-dad/uncle tell him to stop boo-hooing over his dead father? Here, Helen is told that her grief is excessive. If she keeps it up, people will think she's faking it. That's pretty harsh, don't you think?
Be thou blest, Bertram, and succeed thy fatherIn manners, as in shape! thy blood and virtueContend for empire in thee, and thy goodnessShare with thy birthright! (1.1.8)
Dang. There's a lot of pressure on Bertram to live up to his dead father's reputation. It seems like someone is always comparing Bertram to his old man. (It also seems like poor Bertram is always coming up short.) Come to think of it, this is a lot like what goes on in Hamlet; it seems like Shakespeare likes exploring what it's like for a young man to grow up in the shadow of a ghost.