“A remarkable edition, one that makes Shakespeare’s extraordinary accomplishment more vivid than ever.”—James Shapiro, professor, Columbia University, bestselling author of A Year in the Life of Shakespeare: 1599
“A feast of literary and historical information.”—The Wall Street Journal
""A young man married is a man that's marr'd.""
--All's Well That Ends Well
Eminent Shakespearean scholars Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen provide a fresh new edition of this classic play about gender, desire, and sexual love.
THIS VOLUME ALSO INCLUDES MORE THAN A HUNDRED PAGES OF EXCLUSIVE FEATURES:
- an original Introduction to "All's Well That Ends Well"
- incisive scene-by-scene synopsis and analysis with vital facts about the work
- commentary on past and current productions based on interviews with leading directors, actors, and designers
- photographs of key RSC productions
- an overview of Shakespeare's theatrical career and chronology of his plays
Ideal for students, theater professionals, and general readers, these modern and accessible editions from the Royal Shakespeare Company set a new standard in Shakespearean literature for the twenty-first century.
Act 1 Scene 1 running scene 1
Enter young Bertram, [the] Count of Rossillion, his mother [the Countess], and Helena, Lord Lafew, all in black
COUNTESS In delivering my son from me, I bury a second husband.
BERTRAM And I in going, madam, weep o´er my father´s death anew; but I must attend his majesty´s command, to whom I am now in ward, evermore in subjection.
LAFEW You shall find of the king a husband, madam, you, sir, a father. He that so generally is at all times good must of necessity hold his virtue to you, whose worthiness would stir it up where it wanted rather than lack it where there is such abundance.
COUNTESS What hope is there of his majesty´s amendment?
LAFEW He hath abandoned his physicians, madam, under whose practices he hath persecuted time with hope, and finds no other advantage in the process but only the losing of hope by time.
COUNTESS This young gentlewoman had a father - O, that ´had´! How sad a passage ´tis! - whose skill was almost as great as his honesty, had it stretched so far, would have made nature immortal, and death should have play for lack of work. Would for the king´s sake he were living! I think it would be the death of the king´s disease.
LAFEW How called you the man you speak of, madam?
COUNTESS He was famous, sir, in his profession, and it was his great right to be so: Gerard de Narbon.
LAFEW He was excellent indeed, madam. The king very lately spoke of him admiringly and mourningly: he was skilful enough to have lived still, if knowledge could be set up against mortality.
BERTRAM What is it, my good lord, the king languishes of?
LAFEW A fistula, my lord.
BERTRAM I heard not of it before.
LAFEW I would it were not notorious. Was this gentlewoman the daughter of Gerard de Narbon?
COUNTESS His sole child, my lord, and bequeathed to my overlooking. I have those hopes of her good that her education promises her dispositions she inherits, which makes fair gifts fairer. For where an unclean mind carries virtuous qualities, there commendations go with pity, they are virtues and traitors too. In her they are the better for their simpleness; she derives her honesty and achieves her goodness.
LAFEW Your commendations, madam, get from her tears.
COUNTESS ´Tis the best brine a maiden can season her praise in. The remembrance of her father never approaches her heart ...