Study Guide

All's Well That Ends Well Act 4, Scene 1

By William Shakespeare

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Act 4, Scene 1

Read the full text of All's Well That Ends Well Act 4 Scene 1 with a side-by-side translation HERE.

  • Outside the soldiers’ camp in Florence, the first lord Dumaine and several soldiers hide in the bushes.
  • They're waiting to ambush Paroles, who is supposed to be trying to retrieve the drum he lost on the battlefield.
  • Paroles shows up and starts talking to himself. He admits that he has no intention of trying to get his drum back. That would be way too dangerous.
  • Instead, he's just going to hang out here for three hours until it's time to go back to the camp.
  • Paroles tries to come up with a story to convince his pals that he got hurt trying to recover the drum. Maybe he should give himself a black eye and a fat lip? Or maybe he should tear his clothes to shreds and break his sword to make it look like he got into a fight with some enemy soldiers? Will his friends even believe his story?
  • The lords Dumaine and the interpreter leap out of the bushes with their swords. Ah ha!
  • They start yelling and speaking in gibberish so Paroles will think they're Russian soldiers.
  • Paroles begs for his life and offers to give them a bunch of information about his unit if they'll spare his life.
  • They blindfold Paroles and a soldier runs off to get Bertram. The proof is in the pudding.

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