Family drama is par for the course in Shakespearean comedy, which is why All's Well That Ends Well often reads like a daytime soap opera. Parents betray children, kids fail to live up to their parents' expectations, husbands cheat, wives scheme, and families are torn apart. If there's one thing Shakespeare loves more than breaking up families, it's putting them back together again, whether they want to be reunited or not.
Bertram is frequently compared to his dead father, making it difficult for him to form his own identity in the play.
Both the countess and the widow are forceful characters; they both have a strong maternal influence over their children.