All's well that ends well Why Should I Care
Why Should I Care?
You know how we said that All's Well that Ends Well is Shakespeare's freaky, twisted version of a fairy tale gone horribly wrong? Well, it turns out that this is a pretty big deal. Shakespeare takes a popular genre that's been around forever and flips it on its head in a way that has us completely rethinking our ideas about love, sex, marriage, family, and happiness. Impressive, no?
Think about it. Our girl Helen is a poor, Cinderella type who's looking for the ultimate happily ever after. There's just one catch. Helen's Prince Charming turns out to be the biggest jerk on the planet.
Shakespeare's point? It's just this: fairy tales have been around for ages, but they're not real. They're fantasies that come neatly packaged in a generic formula. They don't even begin to represent how things actually happen in the real world. Not only that, but these kinds of stories put a lot of unfair pressure on young men and women to act a certain way. Sure, sweep-me-off-my-feet-and-rescue-me romance sounds nice in theory, but Shakespeare's play suggests that it doesn't really exist in the first place.
So is ol' Shakey telling us that girls like Helen should stop expecting guys like Bertram to fit into the perfect boyfriend-then-husband mold? More importantly, is All's Well That Ends Well asking us to think about the possibility that, just maybe, nobody ever really gets a "happily ever after"? C'est definitely possible.
Sure, Shakespeare gives us this title that says it's all good if it turns out okay. But then he flips that on its head by asking us whether that's true. You might think we're being cynical, and now you'll make it your mission in life to prove us wrong. Sounds great to us; we'd love to hear what you think. Just make sure you read the play first.