Study Guide

All's Well That Ends Well Act 4, Scene 5

By William Shakespeare

Act 4, Scene 5

Read the full text of All's Well That Ends Well Act 4 Scene 5 with a side-by-side translation HERE.


  • Meanwhile, back in Roussillon, Lafeu, the Countess, and Lavatch have heard the rumor that Helen has died of a broken heart.
  • They're devastated.
  • Lafeu blames everything on Paroles, who has been nothing but a "villainous saffron" and a bad influence on Bertram.
  • The countess can't believe that her precious Helen is gone. It's as if she's lost a child she personally gave birth to.
  • Lavatch tries to compare Helen to a delicate herb in a salad, which somehow (not surprisingly) leads to a series of dirty jokes. The dirty jokes segue into Lavatch's claims that if he can't be of service to Lafeu, he'd be happy to serve Satan.
  • Lavatch tries to compare Helen to a delicate herb in a salad, which somehow (not surprisingly) leads to a series of dirty jokes.
  • Lafeu tell him he's a knave and a fool and orders him to scram, or else.
  • Apparently Lavatch was originally employed by the countess's dead husband, which means he can't be fired, even though he's totally out of control.
  • Lafeu reports that the king of France has just left Marseilles and is on his way to visit the Countess here at Roussillon. 
  • Lafeu plans to ask the King to make Bertram marry his (Lafeu's) daughter now, and the Countess agrees it's a good plan. 
  • Lavatch runs into the room and yells out that Bertram has arrived home...and he has a giant Band-Aid on his face.
  • Lafeu says a battle scar would be a noble thing. Lavatch, true to form,  suggests the scar may instead be from syphilis. Oh, and that all of the soliders are wearing cool hats with feathers.