Helena:All's Well That Ends Well (I, i, 231-232)
"Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie,
Which we ascribe to Heaven."
At the opening of this play, the main figures are pondering the deaths of two people who were important in their lives. Bertram has lost his father; Helena has lost hers. Helena is in love with Bertram and bemoans the various disruptions to their lives. The death of Bertram's father has called him away to Paris to serve the ailing king of France. Helena is a not of the correct social pedigree for Bertram, the son of a Count, and at the end of this scene, she exchanges sexually explicit words with Parolles, a friend and follower of Bertram. With her second soliloquy, quoted in part here, she says she will take matters into her own hands now, and pursue her love of Bertram, against all odds. This rejection of fate echoes the famous lines in Julius Caesar-"The fault….is not in our stars,…..But in ourselves…".
Themes: fate and fortune