Study Guide

All's Well That Ends Well Act 2, Scene 4

By William Shakespeare

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Act 2, Scene 4

Read the full text of All's Well That Ends Well Act 2 Scene 4 with a side-by-side translation HERE.

  • Meanwhile, Helen has no idea that her new husband is planning on ditching her.
  • She's chilling at the king's palace when Lavatch shows up with a message from Helen's mother-in-law (that would be the countess of Roussillon).
  • Helen wants to know if the countess is doing well, which leads to Lavatch going off on a tangent about how the countess is healthy and happy, sure, but she's not “well” because she hasn't died and gone to heaven yet.
  • (Yep, all this word play on being "well" is a shout-out to the play's title.)
  • Paroles shows up. He also has a message for Helen and it's from her husband.
  • The message goes something like this:
  • Something really important has just come up and Bertram has to leave Paris immediately. Unfortunately, he doesn't have time to give you that super steamy wedding night that he promised you when you got hitched. Please return to his mom's house in Roussillon ASAP. He'll catch up with you later and promises that he will totally have sex with you and it will be really hot since you'll have both waited so long. Also, Bertram needs you to make up a story about why you're returning to Roussillon by yourself so the King doesn't get all mad at him.
  • Helen, ever a loyal new bride, promises to do everything Bertram asks of her and runs off to pack her bags.

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