All's Well That Ends Well | Critical Essay by David McCandless

This literature criticism consists of approximately 38 pages of analysis & critique of All's Well That Ends Well.
This section contains 11,199 words
(approx. 38 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by David McCandless

SOURCE: “Helena's Bed-trick: Gender and Performance in All's Well That Ends Well,” in Shakespeare Quarterly, Vol. 45, No. 4, Winter, 1994, pp. 449-68.

In the following essay, McCandless analyzes All's Well That Ends Well's concern with sexuality, and the importance of Helena's bed-trick to “the play's provocative interrogation of gender roles.”

The starting point for this essay is Susan Snyder's recent characterization of All's Well as a “deconstructed fairy tale”:1 lurking beneath the folkloric narrative of the poor physician's daughter who deploys magic and cunning in order to overcome a dashing count's disdainful resistance are the unrepresentable specters of female sexual desire and male sexual dread. Indeed, the play invests the fairy-tale motifs that W. W. Lawrence believes undergird All's Well—“The Healing of the King&#x...

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This section contains 11,199 words
(approx. 38 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by David McCandless