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To begin with: The play begins with two deaths and a very sick king: Gerard de Narbon, an acclaimed doctor, passed away six months ago. The Count of Rossillion has just passed away. The King of France is dying and has refused all medical help, because he believes there is no hope for a recovery.

The new Count of Rossillion, Bertram, is being sent to Paris where he will become the ward of the King. He leaves behind his mother who is the guardian of Helena, the orphan daughter of Gerard de Narbon. At the same time, a civil war breaks out in Tuscany and many of the French nobility plan to travel to Italy to become mercenaries.

Paris

Act I

Florence Rossillion

Scene 1: Rossillion, the Countess’s Palace Scene 2: Paris, the King’s Palace Scene 3: Rossillion, the Countess’s Palace Scene 4: Paris, the King’s Palace Scene 5: Paris, the King’s Palace Scene 6: Rossillion, the Countess’s Palace

Act II Scene 1: Florence, the Street Scene 2: Florence, the Army Camp Scene 3: Florence, the Widow’s Home Scene 4: Florence, the Street Scene 5: Florence, the Widow’s Home Scene 6: Florence, the Army Camp Scene 7: Florence, the Widow’s Home Scene 8: Rossillion, the Countess’s Palace


Characters in the Play:

A Page

Rynalda

mother of Bertram guardian of Helena

works for the Countess

steward to the Countess

Bertam

Parolles

King of France

new Count of Rossillion ward to the King of France

a soldier and companion to Bertram, part servant and part teacher

Countess of Rossillion

Helena ward of the Countess orphan daughter of doctor Gerard de Narbon

Lafew the King’s close advisor

Widow Capilet

Diana

Mariana

once a noble woman in Florence who now runs a guest house for religious pilgrims

daughter of Widow Capilet

neighbor of Widow Capilet

The Dumaine Brothers

French lords, later soldiers in the Florentine Army

French lords, later captains in the Florentine Army

Important Characters We Never See, but Hear About: The former Count of Rossillion, recently deceased. Gerard de Narbon, a skilled doctor who died six months ago Maudlin, the daughter of Lafew, who would be the kind of aristocratic woman Bertram wants to marry.


Shakespeare Cheat Sheet: All's Well that Ends Well