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All's Well That Ends Well | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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All's Well That Ends Well | Quotes


Love all, trust a few, / Do wrong to none.

Countess, Act 1, Scene 1

The countess gives this advice to her son before he leaves for France, telling him he will do well if he shows love to everyone, treats them all well, and puts his trust only in those who deserve it. Within the events of the play to unfold, Bertram will ignore all three parts of his mother's advice.


'Twere all one / That I should love a bright particular star / and think to wed it, he is so above me.

Helen, Act 1, Scene 1

Helen bemoans her low social status, feeling it is an impossible barrier to marrying the man she loves.


Virginity is peevish, proud, idle, made of self-love.

Parolles, Act 1, Scene 1

Parolles uses the argument to convince Helen virginity is a conceit and she would do well to lose it as soon as possible. Helen has just told the audience, in an aside, Parolles's character can make foolishness seem like wisdom, and his argument about virginity supports Helen's perception of him.


Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie / Which we ascribe to heaven.

Helen, Act 1, Scene 1

Helen takes charge of her own destiny, recognizing it is up to her, not to prayer, to make her dreams of marrying Bertram come true.


Oft expectation fails, and most oft there / Where most it promises.

Helen, Act 2, Scene 1

Helen is trying to persuade the king of France to let her try to heal him, saying people often give up hope at the very moment they should not.


It is like a barber's chair that fits all buttocks.

Fool, Act 2, Scene 2

In mocking the court, the fool is explaining he has a single answer that can be used to respond to any question or statement put before him. The answer turns out to be "O Lord, sir!" The fool's joke, mocking the nobility, supports the main idea in the play social status doesn't determine a person's worth.


Good alone / Is good, without a name; vileness is so.

King of France, Act 2, Scene 3

The king of France is explaining to Bertram why Helen does not need a title to make her worthy and goodness and its opposite are both clear no matter what title a person holds.


To say nothing, to do nothing, to know nothing, and to have nothing is to be a great part of your title.

Fool, Act 2, Scene 4

The Fool shows he sees Parolles for what he is—an empty person with no redeeming characteristics.


There can be no kernel in this light nut. The soul of this man is his clothes.

Lafew, Act 2, Scene 5

Lafew, like the fool, sees Parolles for the weak and unsubstantial parasite he is and tries to warn Bertram not to trust him.


Make me but like my thoughts, and I shall prove / A lover of thy drum, hater of love.

Bertram, Act 3, Scene 3

Bertram proclaims all he cares about is proving himself worthy in battle, represented by the drum, and the trivialities of love mean nothing to him. However, once distinguished in war, he will quickly turn his thoughts toward seducing Diana.


No legacy is so rich as honesty.

Mariana, Act 3, Scene 5

Mariana, the widow of Florence's neighbor, is warning Diana about Bertram, saying nothing he can offer her is more precious than her good name.


The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.

First Lord Dumaine, Act 4, Scene 3

The First Lord Dumaine muses our lives are a mix of virtuous and regrettable actions.


Who knows himself a braggart, / Let him fear this, for it will come to pass / That every braggart shall be found an ass.

Parolles, Act 4, Scene 3

After having been exposed as a liar, coward, and disloyal soldier, the pompous Parolles tells the audience every braggart will be proven to be a fool in the end.


All's well that ends well ... / Whate'er the course, the end is the renown.

Helen, Act 4, Scene 4

Helen is comforting the widow of Florence and Diana when their plans go offtrack, telling them as long as everything turns out the way it should, nothing that happens along the way really matters.


Praising what is lost / Makes the remembrance dear.

King of France, Act 5, Scene 3

The king of France, who still believes Helen is dead, comments praising her virtues makes the memory of her that much more precious.

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