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All's Well That Ends Well by William Shakespeare

The play opens in Rousillon, a province of France, where young Count Bertram bids farewell to his mother the Countess and Helena, as he leaves for the court in Paris (with old Lord Lafew) at the King's order. Bertram's father has recently died and Bertram is to be the King's ward and attendant. Helena, a young minor noblewoman and ward of the Countess, whose father (a gifted doctor) has also recently died, laments her unrequitable love for (or infatuation with) Bertram, and losing him to Paris, which weighs on her though it seems to others that she mourns her father. Parolles, a cowardly military man and parasite on Bertram, trades wits with Helena, as they liken amorous love and the loss of virginity to military endeavors. Helena nearly admits her love of Bertram to Parolles before he leaves for Paris with Bertram and Lafew. Alone again, Helena convinces herself to strive for Bertram despite the odds, mentioning the King's illness alongside her decision.

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