Cover image for All's well that ends well
Title:
All's well that ends well
ISBN:
9780769792439
Publication Information:
West Long Branch, NJ : Kultur, 2013.
Physical Description:
2 videodiscs (138 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.
Summary:
Helena loves the arrogant Bertram, and when she cures the King of France of his sickness, she claims Bertram as her reward. But her new husband, flying from Helena to join the wars, attaches two obstructive conditions to their marriage - conditions he is sure will never be met. Featuring Olivier-award winning actress Janie Dee as the Countess of Roussillon, Sam Crane as Bertram, and Ellie Piercy as Helena.
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Summary

Summary

William Shakespeare's 1605 play All's Well That Ends Well bears two unusual distinctions that go hand-in-hand: in addition to arguably being the most popular of his comedies, it also breaks many of the conventions that he had carefully established in that genre in prior years. The story concerns the ardor that Helena feels for the conceited Bertram. When the young woman performs a miraculous deed for the French king, she claims Bertram as her husband in recompense. Bertram agrees - but only given the fulfillment of two conditions that seem close to impossible. This 2012 production stars Ellie Piercy as Helena, Sam Crane as Bertram and Janie Dee, winner of the coveted Olivier Award, as The Countess of Roussillon. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi


Reviews 1

Choice Review

An introduction for general readers and undergraudates, this Twayne volume can also be appreciated for its originality by graduate students and faculty, more so, perhaps, than similar introductions as Northrop Frye on Shakespeare, ed. by Robert Sandler (CH, Jan'87). The author (Trinity College, University of Toronto) takes an eclectic approach to the play, with forewords on stage history and critical reception, followed by six refreshing chapters on sources, sonnet analogues, and themes of current interest, such as power, status, gender, and sexuality. In his discussion of youth and age, Zitner dismisses notions that the play is "death-haunted," and asserts Shakespeare's reverence for the Countess and old King without their idealization. The critique ends with a lucid textual consideration of Shakespeare's performance concerns: modulated repetition, gestic language, linked dialogue, dispersal of expository material, challenging minor parts, and contrasting figures. The select bibliography covers 50 years of research and criticism very briefly and, unfortunately, does not list all works cited in the text; a helpful index is appended. Highly recommended for all readers. F. K. Barasch Bernard M. Baruch College, CUNY


Excerpts

Excerpts

In this romantic reconciliation comedy, the sweetly mischievous Helena plots and plans her way to winning the aloof Bertram's hand in marriage. While the lovers are united by the close of the final act, Shakespeare pokes fun at the fantasy, wish fulfillment, and conventions of romantic comedy with the play's ambiguous resolution, which has intrigued scholars, readers, and theatergoers for centuries. This invaluable new study guide to one of Shakespeare's greatest plays contains a selection of the finest criticism through the centuries, plus an introduction by Harold Bloom, an accessible summary of the plot, a comprehensive list of characters, a biography of Shakespeare, and more. Excerpted from All's Well That Ends Well by Harold Bloom Editor, Paul Gleed All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.