Friday, July 3, 2009

All's Well That Ends Well, 63/81, 2nd Round

All's Well that Ends Well, by William Shakespeare, play category

Well, it does end with Helena and Bertram married and living together, but he's a big jerk so I'm not sure why she wants him.

Helena is the daughter of a gifted physician, recently deceased. Bertram is a Count, newly become ward of the King of France. She heals the king and asks for Bertram as her husband for her reward. He (Bertram) is disgusted by her low rank and runs off to fight a war in Italy. For some totally unknown reason, she thinks it's her fault and sets off on a pilgrimage. Which just happens to take her to Italy.

I read the preface in this edition, which suggests that Shakespeare was adapting earlier stories, so the lame plot may not be entirely his fault.

I also hated the "clown" parts in this which just weren't funny at all. Then there are all these completely extraneous scenes and dialogues that just slow the action down and make my eyes gloss over. In the theater, that would be the time to run to the restroom.

There are a few good lines in here though. Most of them are at the beginning, so you could just stop there. Shakespeare seems to give the best lines to Helena and the King. He must have been playing favorites.

Absolutely not his best. I know that seeing the play is always better, but it just couldn't save this play. Don't bother!

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