All's Well That Ends Well is all about challenging traditional sixteenth- and seventeenth-century ideas about gender and sexuality. By featuring a female protagonist who takes on a traditionally masculine role in her pursuit of a husband, All's Well reverses the typical gender roles we find in Western literature, especially fairy tales. In doing so, it asks us to reconsider what kinds of roles we expect young men and women to play in romantic relationships. The play also portrays the ins and outs of heterosexual relationships as a kind of warfare, taking the concept of the battle of the sexes to a whole new level.
Throughout the play, male characters like Paroles attempt to make a distinction between the sexes by suggesting that warfare and masculinity go hand in hand, while staying at home is for women and sissies.
In All's Well That Ends Well, Shakespeare suggests that assigning men and women traditional gender roles is unfair and limiting.