MODERN AS YOU LIKE IT PLOT SUMMARY
As You Like It begins with the introduction of Orlando, the middle son of recently deceased Sir Rowland. Orlando is talking with his elderly servant, Adam, about how his brother has denied him proper education and treats him like a servant. When Oliver appears, the two brothers enter into a disagreement, and Oliver swears never to give him his inheritance. The Duke's wrestler, Charles, meets with Oliver. Orlando has decided to enter the tournament, and Charles is hesitant about fighting him. Oliver convinces Charles that Orlando is a dishonest man and deserves a beating, and connives to make sure Orlando fights.
At the Duke's palace, Rosalind and Celia are talking. Duke Frederick has banished his older brother, Duke Senior, and his supporters from the kingdom, stealing his dukedom in the process. Duke Frederick has allowed Rosalind, Duke Senior's daughter, to stay because of Celia's love for her. Rosalind is depressed at her situation, and Celia is trying to cheer her up. It is the day of the wrestling match, and the girls' conversation is interrupted by Orlando and Charles' fight. They try to convince Orlando not to fight because of his youth, but Orlando bravely defeats Charles. Rosalind and Orlando fall madly in love at first sight.
When Duke Frederick finds out Orlando's identity, he enters a foul mood, for his father was a supporter of Duke Senior. Orlando flees the palace. Duke Frederick has a sudden change of heart and banishes Rosalind from the land. Celia decides to run away with Rosalind, and they take Touchstone, the court jester, with them. Rosalind disguises herself as a man and calls herself Ganymede, and Celia becomes a peasant woman named Aliena.
In the forest, Duke Senior is enjoying the simplicity of life in nature. He talks with his servant Amiens, and other Lords. He wants to find his friend Jaques, who is often melancholy. Back at the palace, Duke Frederick has discovered his daughter's disappearance. Angry, he demands that she be found.
Orlando has gone back home, only to be warned by Adam that his brother Oliver plots to kill him. Adam urges him to flee and offers to go with him. He has some money, and they set out towards the forest.
Meanwhile, Rosalind and Celia (in disguise) have reached the forest of Arden. They come across two shepherds Silvius and Corin. Silvius is lovesick over a woman who disdains him, and Corin is a shepherd at a nearby cottage. Rosalind and Celia buy the cottage and decide to live there.
In the forest, Amiens has found Jaques, who is indeed melancholy. Amiens sings a song, and Jaques philosophizes about life. Orlando and Adam have also entered the forest, but Adam is weak from hunger. Orlando leaves him to go and find food. He finds Duke Senior and his lords getting ready to feast and brandishes his sword on them. They are polite and give him plenty of food for his elderly servant and Duke Senior takes them in.
Back at the palace, Duke Frederick has found out about Orlando's disappearance and thinks he is responsible for Celia's departure. He orders Oliver to find Orlando at any cost.
Orlando is spending his time in the forest writing poems about Rosalind and hanging them on trees. Rosalind and Celia find some of these poems, and Rosalind is excited when she finds out Orlando wrote them. She decides to approach Orlando in her disguise as a young man in order to "cure" him of his lovesickness. Orlando agrees to treat Ganymede as if he were Rosalind, and woo him.
Touchstone meets a homely goatherd named Audrey, and they plan to be married. Jaques follows them and crashes their ceremony before it can be completed. Silvius begs Phebe to love him, but Phebe responds cruelly. Overhearing the exchange, Rosalind intervenes, scorning Phebe. Phebe falls in love with Ganymede and decides to write him a letter.
Orlando is late for his first appointment, and Rosalind is angry. However, they go ahead with the lesson, with Rosalind dispelling many of Orlando's unrealistic expectations of love. Celia becomes angry with Rosalind and accuses her of being unfair to her own sex. Orlando is also late for his second appointment, and while Rosalind is waiting Silvius arrives with a love letter from Phebe. Rosalind turns her down, and Oliver approaches. Apparently, on Orlando's way back to Rosalind he saw Oliver sleeping, about to be killed by a lioness. Orlando saved Oliver, and the two were reunited. In the fight, Orlando was injured and could not make the appointment, sending Oliver to tell Rosalind. Hearing this, Rosalind faints.
During this meeting, Oliver and Celia fell madly in love, and Oliver tells Orlando that they plan to marry the next day. Rosalind as Ganymede arrives, and Orlando reveals that he can no longer be satisfied by pretending. She promises to have the "real" Rosalind to him the following day so they can marry. Silvius and Phebe arrive, and they characters express the anguish of love. Phebe promises to marry Ganymede the next day, and, if not, to accept Silvius.
The day of the wedding arrives. Ganymede and Aliena meet Duke Senior, Orlando, and others. Rosalind makes sure that the others will keep their promises: the Duke will give his daughter to Orlando, Orlando will marry Rosalind, Phebe will either marry Ganymede or Silvius, and Silvius will still accept Phebe. Ganymede leaves, and Touchstone and Audrey arrive. They plan to be married, as well. Rosalind, in women's dress, comes back with Hymen, the God of marriage. The four couples are married. In the middle of the ceremony, the youngest son of Sir Rowland arrives with news that Duke Frederick has converted to religion and is allowing all those exiled to return. Everyone is overjoyed, and they dance in celebration.
After the dance, everyone leaves the stage but Rosalind. Rosalind admits it is not customary for a woman to give the epilogue, but she entreats the men and women to like as much of the play as they want and to give generous applause.
MODERN AS YOU LIKE IT CHARACTER ANALYSIS
The most obvious choice for protagonist in the play, Rosalind is Duke Senior's beautiful, intelligent daughter. She falls in love with Orlando and eventually meets him as her disguised male-counterpart Ganymede. Witty and unexpected, Rosalind is often breaking convention. Out of all the characters in the play, she alone seems to have a grasp on what it means to have a real, true love, instead of the overly romantic convention. Keeping to her character, Rosalind also delivers the epilogue of the play, which was unusual in Shakespeare's time.
Rosalind's cousin and Duke Frederick's daughter, Celia loves Rosalind more than anything. She is willing to give up her inheritance for Rosalind's sake, and willingly leaves her palace to follow Rosalind into the forest. Witty and smart, Celia nevertheless spends most of the play following Rosalind's lead. Many times, she does not understand her cousin's actions. She falls in love with Oliver the first time she sees him, and they are married at the end of the play.
Sir Rowland's middle son who has been treated badly by his older brother, Oliver. Enraged at his being treated like a servant, Orlando sets out to change his fate. He signs up for the wrestling tournament where he meets Rosalind and is immediately smitten. After he escapes to the forest, he spends his days writing poems about Rosalind and hanging them on trees. The most die-hard romantic in As You Like It, Orlando takes lessons from Ganymede that teach him how to love in a more balanced way.
Orlando's older brother, Oliver is the heir of his father's estate. Out of spite for his well-loved brother, Oliver denies him an education and his other rights as the son of a noble, treating him like a peasant. He plots to kill Orlando, and when that fails goes to the forest to find him. When he is saved by Orlando in the forest, he undergoes a dramatic transformation, renouncing all his old ways. When he falls in love with Celia, he also vows to give Orlando the entire inheritance and live the rest of his life as a shepherd.
Adam is he loyal, elderly servant of the Rowland house. He sympathizes with Orlando in his plight, and escapes with him into the forest when he finds out how wicked Oliver has become. Although he is elderly, he is intensely loyal and is willing to give up the last of his money and the last of his years to remain with Orlando. Orlando, in turn, repays his kindness by taking care of him.
Duke Senior's younger brother, Duke Frederick stole his throne and exiled him from the city. Although he loves his daughter, he dislikes Rosalind and believes that the people love her too much. When he finds out Celia is missing, he orders everyone to stop at nothing in order to find her. Although he does not appear in the majority of the play, a messenger at the end relates that he came across a religious old man on his way to make war with Duke Senior and underwent a religious conversion, restoring all those exiled.
Where his brother is malcontent and unpleasant, Duke Senior is amiable and happy. Although exiled, he makes the best of his situation and lives a carefree "Robin Hood" lifestyle in the Forest of Arden. He enjoys discussions, food and music in plenty, and takes in all those who come to his table. At the end of the play, he gladly gives Rosalind up to marry Orlando and makes sure the celebrations are complete.
Jaques is one of Duke Senior's camp followers. He is an Englishman who has traveled the world and claims it has left him melancholy. Seemingly allergic to all things happy, he revels in misery and enjoys sadness. He spends his time philosophizing about the nature of the world, although, compared to other characters such as Touchstone and Rosalind, his observations seem contrite. He is the only character who chooses not to go back to the city at the end of the play.
One of Duke Senior's loyal servants, Amiens is usually by Duke Senior's side. He is the token song-singer of the play and is often asked to sing a tune.
The court jester who went to the Forest of Arden along with Rosalind and Celia. Unlike the women, Touchstone did not don a disguise but remains a fool until the very end of the play. He spends his time wandering around the forest, talking to different characters about anything and everything. Eventually, he decides he wants to marry Audrey, an ordinary goat herder.
The peasant goat herder that Touchstone marries. Audrey is simple and ugly, but seems to relish the attention Touchstone pays her, although she has no idea what he says most of the time. She looks forward to being a married woman, and her reasons for marrying are similar to Touchstone's - a desire for sex.
Silvius is a poor shepherd who is desperately in love with Phebe. While Phebe is not overly beautiful, Silvius believes she is perfect. He is undaunted by her continued rejection and scorn and follows her around, love-stricken. Rosalind, after she seems him, believes that he has fallen in love with Phebe's foul moods. He claims that he would marry Phebe even if it meant his death, and his form of love is the most extreme in the play.
Phebe is Silvius' love and tries to constantly avoid him. Although she professes to hate him, Rosalind sees that she keeps Silvius around in order to feel better about herself. After being chided by Rosalind (in her Ganymede disguise), she falls in love with the pretty young man. She only accepts Silvius after Rosalind has revealed her true identity.
The "god of marriage" that appears in the last scene of the play. He is the one who performs the quadruple marriage at the end, effectively tying all the loose strings and beginning the celebration.
An older shepherd who is friends with Silvius. He is content with his simple life and does not wish for anything more. He is a worker on the small farm that Rosalind and Celia buy.
EXCERPT FROM AS YOU LIKE IT IN PLAIN AND SIMPLE ENGLISH
SCENE I. Orchard of Oliver's house.
Enter ORLANDO and ADAM
As I remember, Adam, it was upon this fashion
bequeathed me by will but poor a thousand crowns,
and, as thou sayest, charged my brother, on his
blessing, to breed me well: and there begins my
sadness. My brother Jaques he keeps at school, and
report speaks goldenly of his profit: for my part,
he keeps me rustically at home, or, to speak more
properly, stays me here at home unkept; for call you
that keeping for a gentleman of my birth, that
differs not from the stalling of an ox? His horses
are bred better; for, besides that they are fair
with their feeding, they are taught their manage,
and to that end riders dearly hired: but I, his
brother, gain nothing under him but growth; for the
which his animals on his dunghills are as much
bound to him as I. Besides this nothing that he so
plentifully gives me, the something that nature gave
me his countenance seems to take from me: he lets
me feed with his hinds, bars me the place of a
brother, and, as much as in him lies, mines my
gentility with my education. This is it, Adam, that
grieves me; and the spirit of my father, which I
think is within me, begins to mutiny against this
servitude: I will no longer endure it, though yet I
know no wise remedy how to avoid it.
Adam, I remember that this was why
my father left me only a thousand crowns in his will
and, like you said, tasked my brother,
while blessing him, to raise me. This began my
sad problems. My brother, Oliver, keeps my other brother, Jacques, at school,
where everyone says he is doing very well, but me
he keeps here at home in the country, or to be
more exact, cages me here. Do you think
that it is fitting for such a noble man as me
to be in the same situation as an ox? Oliver’s horses
are treated better than me:
they are fed well and they are trained
by well paid trainers. Meanwhile, I, his
own brother, get nothing from his care, unless you count growing and maturing naturally –
his animals, sitting on piles of dung and manure, get
as much from him and are just as tied to him. He gives me
a lot of nothing, and even my noble birthrights
he has taken away from me: he
makes me eat with his servants, doesn’t let me have what is rightfully mine as his
brother, and, as much as he can, ruins
my upbringing by refusing me a proper education. This, Adam,
is why I am sad. My father’s spirit – and I
think I share his independence – begs me to rebel against this
servanthood. I will stand for this no longer, even though
I am not sure how to put a stop to it.
Yonder comes my master, your brother.
Here comes your brother, my master.
Go apart, Adam, and thou shalt hear how he will
shake me up.
Go hide, Adam, and you will hear how
poorly he treats me.
Now, sir! what make you here?
Hello, you! What are you doing here?
Nothing: I am not taught to make any thing.
Nothing – I was never taught how to do anything.
What mar you then, sir?
Then what are you destroying?
Marry, sir, I am helping you to mar that which God
made, a poor unworthy brother of yours, with idleness.
Well, I am destroying that which God
made – your brother who has nothing to do.
Marry, sir, be better employed, and be naught awhile.
Then you should find something to do and go away for a while.
Shall I keep your hogs and eat husks with them?
What prodigal portion have I spent, that I should
come to such penury?
Would you like me to watch your pigs and eat their food with them?
When did I act like the prodigal son and spend my inheritance, so that I
must be punished like this?
Know you where your are, sir?
Do you know where you are?
O, sir, very well; here in your orchard.
Yes, I am in your orchard,
Know you before whom, sir?
And do you know who you are talking to?
Ay, better than him I am before knows me. I know
you are my eldest brother; and, in the gentle
condition of blood, you should so know me. The
courtesy of nations allows you my better, in that
you are the first-born; but the same tradition
takes not away my blood, were there twenty brothers
betwixt us: I have as much of my father in me as
you; albeit, I confess, your coming before me is
nearer to his reverence.
Yes, I know him better than he knows me. I know
you are my oldest brother, and I know you are a gentleman
by birth, but you should know that I am too. General
tradition says that you are my elder and should be respected,
since you are first-born, but that same tradition
does not take away my nobility, even if there were twenty brothers
and I was the youngest. I have just as much of my father’s blood in me
as you do – even if, I admit, your place as being born first
was more honored by him.
How dare you!
Come, come, elder brother, you are too young in this.
Now, now – you may be my older brother, but you are not very experienced in fighting.
Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain?
Do you dare touch me, scoundrel?
I am no villain; I am the youngest son of Sir
Rowland de Boys; he was my father, and he is thrice
a villain that says such a father begot villains.
Wert thou not my brother, I would not take this hand
from thy throat till this other had pulled out thy
tongue for saying so: thou hast railed on thyself.
I am not a scoundrel: I am the youngest son of Sir
Rowland de Boys. He is my father, and whoever says
that he had scoundrels as sons is himself three times the scoundrel.
If you were not my brother, I would keep
choking you with this hand while my other one would rip out
your tongue for suggesting such a thing. You have insulted only yourself.
Sweet masters, be patient: for your father's
remembrance, be at accord.
Masters, please stop. For your father’s
sake, be at peace.
Let me go, I say.
Let me go, now.
I will not, till I please: you shall hear me. My
father charged you in his will to give me good
education: you have trained me like a peasant,
obscuring and hiding from me all gentleman-like
qualities. The spirit of my father grows strong in
me, and I will no longer endure it: therefore allow
me such exercises as may become a gentleman, or
give me the poor allottery my father left me by
testament; with that I will go buy my fortunes.
Not until I want to – first you will listen. My
father requested in his will that you make sure I get a good
education, and yet you have had me educated like a peasant and commoner,
failing to teach me the proper qualities of a gentleman.
I have the same character of my father in
me and so I will no longer stand for this treatment. Either
train me in the proper ways of becoming a gentleman or
give me the small inheritance that my father let me
in his will, and I will leave to pursue my own future.
And what wilt thou do? beg, when that is spent?
Well, sir, get you in: I will not long be troubled
with you; you shall have some part of your will: I
pray you, leave me.
And then what will you do? Will you beg from me when you run out of money?
Well, fine, get – I will not be bothered
by you any longer. You will have your inheritance and then,
I will no further offend you than becomes me for my good.
I will not bother you any more than I have to so that I get what is due me.
Get you with him, you old dog.
Go away with him, you old dog.
Is 'old dog' my reward? Most true, I have lost my
teeth in your service. God be with my old master!
he would not have spoke such a word.
An ‘old dog’ am I? True enough – I am old enough
to have lost my teeth serving you and your family. God be with your father,
my old master! He would never have called me such a name.
Exeunt ORLANDO and ADAM
Is it even so? begin you to grow upon me? I will
physic your rankness, and yet give no thousand
crowns neither. Holla, Dennis!
Is it true? Have you grown big enough to challenge me? Well,
I will cure your rashness against me and will not give you a thousand
crowns either. Hello, Dennis!
Calls your worship?
You called, your worship?
Was not Charles, the duke's wrestler, here to speak with me?
Has the duke’s wrestler, Charles, come to see me yet?
So please you, he is here at the door and importunes
access to you.
He is in fact here at the door now, and asks
to speak with you.
Call him in.
Call him in.
'Twill be a good way; and to-morrow the wrestling is.
This will work – and, tomorrow is the wrestling match.
Good morrow to your worship.
Hello, your worship.
Good Monsieur Charles, what's the new news at the
Good sir Charles, what is the news at the
There's no news at the court, sir, but the old news:
that is, the old duke is banished by his younger
brother the new duke; and three or four loving lords
have put themselves into voluntary exile with him,
whose lands and revenues enrich the new duke;
therefore he gives them good leave to wander.
Only the old news, sir:
that the duke has been banished by his younger
brother who has become the new duke, and three or four devoted lords
have joined the old duke in voluntary exile –
but since their land and money have been given up to the new duke,
he has freely allowed them to leave.
Can you tell if Rosalind, the duke's daughter, be
banished with her father?
Was Rosalind, the old duke’s daughter,
banished with her father?
O, no; for the duke's daughter, her cousin, so loves
her, being ever from their cradles bred together,
that she would have followed her exile, or have died
to stay behind her. She is at the court, and no
less beloved of her uncle than his own daughter; and
never two ladies loved as they do.
No, the new duke’s daughter, Rosalind’s cousin, loves
her – they were raised together from their cradles –
and would have followed her into exile or would have died
without her. Rosalind is at the court, and she
is just as loved by her uncle as his own daughter, Celia.
Two ladies were never so fond of each other as they are.
Where will the old duke live?
Where will the old duke live?
They say he is already in the forest of Arden, and
a many merry men with him; and there they live like
the old Robin Hood of England: they say many young
gentlemen flock to him every day, and fleet the time
carelessly, as they did in the golden world.
Some say he is already in the forest of Arden
with a group of happy men, living like
Robin Hood from England. They say young
gentleman come to him every day and spend the time
without a care in the world, as if it were the Garden of Eden.
What, you wrestle to-morrow before the new duke?
So will you be wrestling tomorrow in front of the new duke?
Marry, do I, sir; and I came to acquaint you with a
matter. I am given, sir, secretly to understand
that your younger brother Orlando hath a disposition
to come in disguised against me to try a fall.
To-morrow, sir, I wrestle for my credit; and he that
escapes me without some broken limb shall acquit him
well. Your brother is but young and tender; and,
for your love, I would be loath to foil him, as I
must, for my own honour, if he come in: therefore,
out of my love to you, I came hither to acquaint you
withal, that either you might stay him from his
intendment or brook such disgrace well as he shall
run into, in that it is a thing of his own search
and altogether against my will.
Yes, sir, I will be – and I have come to talk with you
about a relevant problem. I was secretly informed
that your younger brother, Orlando, is planning
to fight against me in a disguise.
Tomorrow, sir, I am fighting to show off, so anyone
who escapes without a broken bone is lucky.
Your brother is young and weak still, and,
out of my love for you, I would feel bad if I destroyed him,
as I must in order to win the honor I am looking to win. So,
since I admire you, I came to tell you
so that you can either force him away from this
plan or can prepare him for the disgrace
he will face in fighting me – disgrace that will be his fault
and not something I am looking forward to.
Charles, I thank thee for thy love to me, which
thou shalt find I will most kindly requite. I had
myself notice of my brother's purpose herein and
have by underhand means laboured to dissuade him from
it, but he is resolute. I'll tell thee, Charles:
it is the stubbornest young fellow of France, full
of ambition, an envious emulator of every man's
good parts, a secret and villanous contriver against
me his natural brother: therefore use thy
discretion; I had as lief thou didst break his neck
as his finger. And thou wert best look to't; for if
thou dost him any slight disgrace or if he do not
mightily grace himself on thee, he will practise
against thee by poison, entrap thee by some
treacherous device and never leave thee till he
hath ta'en thy life by some indirect means or other;
for, I assure thee, and almost with tears I speak
it, there is not one so young and so villanous this
day living. I speak but brotherly of him; but
should I anatomize him to thee as he is, I must
blush and weep and thou must look pale and wonder.
Charles, thank you for your respect and loyalty, which
I will certainly reward you for. I
discovered my brother’s intentions and
have subtly tried to persuade him against
it, but he is determined to go through with it. I will tell you, Charles,
that Orlando is one of the most stubborn men in France, very
ambitious, and also very jealous of every man’s
good qualities. Also, he is a cunning and villainous liar who schemes
against me, his own brother. Do whatever you think
is best – in fact, I would be just as happy if you broke his neck
as his finger. You should be careful, too, because if
you do disgrace him, or even if he does not
beat you by a lot, he will come
against you with poison or he will trap you by some
dangerous plan, and he will never leave
until he has killed you, some way or another.
I promise you, and it saddens me to tears to say
it, no man so young and yet so cruel and bad
exists except for him. And I am speaking as his brother –
if I were to talk to you as he really is, I
would blush and cry and you would look shocked and amazed.
I am heartily glad I came hither to you. If he come
to-morrow, I'll give him his payment: if ever he go
alone again, I'll never wrestle for prize more: and
so God keep your worship!
I am very glad I came here. If he fights me
tomorrow, then I will give him what he deserves. If he can
walk without assistance after the fight, I will not wrestle for money again.
God keep you well, your worship!
Farewell, good Charles.
Now will I stir this gamester: I hope I shall see
an end of him; for my soul, yet I know not why,
hates nothing more than he. Yet he's gentle, never
schooled and yet learned, full of noble device, of
all sorts enchantingly beloved, and indeed so much
in the heart of the world, and especially of my own
people, who best know him, that I am altogether
misprised: but it shall not be so long; this
wrestler shall clear all: nothing remains but that
I kindle the boy thither; which now I'll go about.
Now I will see what happens to this dandy brother. I hope I see
him killed, for honestly, and I don’t know why, I
hate him more than everything, even though he is nice, has never
been taught anything but is still educated, is noble,
is loved by all kinds of people, is loved in fact
by the whole world, and especially of my
people, who know him best. Because they love him,
they despise me – but it won’t be this way for long. The
wrestler, Charles, will fix all of this. All I have to do
is convince Orlando to fight tomorrow, which I will do now.
SCENE II. Lawn before the Duke's palace.
Enter CELIA and ROSALIND
I pray thee, Rosalind, sweet my coz, be merry.
I hope that you are happy, Rosalind, my sweet cousin.
Dear Celia, I show more mirth than I am mistress of;
and would you yet I were merrier? Unless you could
teach me to forget a banished father, you must not
learn me how to remember any extraordinary pleasure.
Dear Celia, I present myself as happier than I really am,
and you want me to be even happier? Unless you can
teach me how to forget about my father and his banishment, you should not
expect me to remember such great pleasure.
Herein I see thou lovest me not with the full weight
that I love thee. If my uncle, thy banished father,
had banished thy uncle, the duke my father, so thou
hadst been still with me, I could have taught my
love to take thy father for mine: so wouldst thou,
if the truth of thy love to me were so righteously
tempered as mine is to thee.
Now I see that you do not love me as fully
as I love you. If my uncle, your banished father,
had banished your uncle, my father the duke, and if
I was still here with you, then I would have been able to
love your father as my own. You would be able to also,
if your love for me was so strong and overpowering
as mine is for you.
Well, I will forget the condition of my estate, to
rejoice in yours.
Fine, then I will forget my own situation in order
to be happy for you and rejoice in your situation.
You know my father hath no child but I, nor none is
like to have: and, truly, when he dies, thou shalt
be his heir, for what he hath taken away from thy
father perforce, I will render thee again in
affection; by mine honour, I will; and when I break
that oath, let me turn monster: therefore, my
sweet Rose, my dear Rose, be merry.
You know my father has only me as his child, and is
not likely to have anymore. And, when he dies, you will
be his heir – what he took away from your
father by force I will give to you in
love. I swear it by my own honor, and if I break
that promise, than I hope I become a monster. Now, my
sweet, dear Rose, be happy.
From henceforth I will, coz, and devise sports. Let
me see; what think you of falling in love?
From now on, I will be merry and come up with various games, for you, my cousin. Let’s
see: what do you think about falling in love.
Marry, I prithee, do, to make sport withal: but
love no man in good earnest; nor no further in sport
neither than with safety of a pure blush thou mayst
in honour come off again.
Yes, please, let’s do that and fall in love – but
we should not love seriously, and we shouldn’t play any game
that we can’t get out of safely, with a simple blush.
What shall be our sport, then?
So what shall we do instead?
Let us sit and mock the good housewife Fortune from
her wheel, that her gifts may henceforth be bestowed equally.
Let’s sit here and make fun of Fortune, that loose housewife,
and see if she will give her gifts more equally.
I would we could do so, for her benefits are
mightily misplaced, and the bountiful blind woman
doth most mistake in her gifts to women.
I wish we could get her to do that. Her gifts are
so wrongly distributed, and that blind woman
mistakes her gifts to women most of all.
'Tis true; for those that she makes fair she scarce
makes honest, and those that she makes honest she
makes very ill-favouredly.
It’s true: whoever she makes beautiful, she rarely
makes them faithful and pure, and those whom she makes pure, she
also makes ugly.
Nay, now thou goest from Fortune's office to
Nature's: Fortune reigns in gifts of the world,
not in the lineaments of Nature.
No, you are not talking about Fortune now, you mean
Nature: Fortune decides what we are given in the world,
but Nature decides what we are given as humans.
No? when Nature hath made a fair creature, may she
not by Fortune fall into the fire? Though Nature
hath given us wit to flout at Fortune, hath not
Fortune sent in this fool to cut off the argument?
Really? When Nature makes a beautiful person, couldn’t that person
then fall into the fire because of Fortune, turning her ugly? And even though Nature
endowed us with the intelligence to make fun of Fortune, didn’t
Fortune send this fool Touchstone to ruin our argument?
Indeed, there is Fortune too hard for Nature, when
Fortune makes Nature's natural the cutter-off of
Yes, and now Fortune is being difficult with Nature:
Fortune has made Nature’s natural fool cut off
two women whom Nature made naturally witty.
Peradventure this is not Fortune's work neither, but
Nature's; who perceiveth our natural wits too dull
to reason of such goddesses and hath sent this
natural for our whetstone; for always the dulness of
the fool is the whetstone of the wits. How now,
wit! whither wander you?
Perhaps this is not Fortune’s doing either, but is
Nature’s: Nature saw that we are not naturally smart enough
to talk about either goddess, and so sent us
this natural fool to make us smarter. After all, the ignorance of
the fool always makes the wits of the smart person sharper. Hello,
fool! Where are you off to?
Mistress, you must come away to your father.
Mistress, you must come see your father.
Were you made the messenger?
And he sent you to take me away?
No, by mine honour, but I was bid to come for you.
By my honor, not to take you away like a police officer! But I was sent to get you.
Where learned you that oath, fool?
Where did you learn an oath like that, “by my honor,” you fool?
Of a certain knight that swore by his honour they
were good pancakes and swore by his honour the
mustard was naught: now I'll stand to it, the
pancakes were naught and the mustard was good, and
yet was not the knight forsworn.
A knight I knew swore by his honor that the
pancakes were good and he swore by his honor that the
mustard was not good – but truly, the
pancakes were not good and the mustard was fine, and
yet still, since the knight had sworn, he had not lied.
How prove you that, in the great heap of your
How do you figure that? Prove it from your great amount
Ay, marry, now unmuzzle your wisdom.
Yes, unleash all of your wisdom.
Stand you both forth now: stroke your chins, and
swear by your beards that I am a knave.
Then stand back, both of you. First stroke your chins and
swear by your beards that I am a rascal.
By our beards, if we had them, thou art.
By our beards (if we had them, that is), you are a rascal.
By my knavery, if I had it, then I were; but if you
swear by that that is not, you are not forsworn: no
more was this knight swearing by his honour, for he
never had any; or if he had, he had sworn it away
before ever he saw those pancakes or that mustard.
And I swear by my trickery, if I had any, that I am a rascal as well: but if you
swear by something that you don’t have, then even a lie doesn’t break that oath.
The knight swore by his honor, but really he
never had any to begin with – or if he did, then he lost it by making oaths
long before he saw the pancakes or the mustard.
Prithee, who is't that thou meanest?
Tell us, who are you talking about?
One that old Frederick, your father, loves.
A knight whom your father, old Frederick, loves.
My father's love is enough to honour him: enough!
speak no more of him; you'll be whipped for taxation
one of these days.
Then my father’s love is enough to make him honorable! Now stop
and don’t speak any more about him, or else you will be whipped for slander.
I’m sure you will some day anyway.
The more pity, that fools may not speak wisely what
wise men do foolishly.
It is sad that fools are not allowed to talk wisely about
the foolish actions of wise men.
By my troth, thou sayest true; for since the little
wit that fools have was silenced, the little foolery
that wise men have makes a great show. Here comes
Monsieur Le Beau.
That’s true: since the little
wisdom that fools might have has been silenced, the little foolishness
that wise men have ends up being obvious and apparent. Here comes
Mister Le Beau.
With his mouth full of news.
No doubt full of news to tell us.
Which he will put on us, as pigeons feed their young.
He will force it on us the same way that pigeons feed their young.
Then shall we be news-crammed.
And then we shall be stuffed with news.
All the better; we shall be the more marketable.
Good, a fatter bird is worth more anyway.
Enter LE BEAU
Bon jour, Monsieur Le Beau: what's the news?
Hello, Mister Le Beau: what is new?
Fair princess, you have lost much good sport.
Fair princess, you are missing out on some fun.
Sport! of what colour?
Fun! What color of fun?
What colour, madam! how shall I answer you?
What color, madam? I don’t understand; how am I supposed to respond to that?
As wit and fortune will.
As your brain and luck allows you.
Or as the Destinies decree.
Or as the Fates say you will.
Well said: that was laid on with a trowel.
Well said: you laid that on thick.
Nay, if I keep not my rank,--
If I don’t keep my Jester’s rank–
Thou losest thy old smell.
Then you’ll lose your smell.
You amaze me, ladies: I would have told you of good
wrestling, which you have lost the sight of.
Ladies, you are confusing me. I wanted to tell you of a good
wrestling match, which you have missed part of.
You tell us the manner of the wrestling.
Tell us more about this match.
I will tell you the beginning; and, if it please
your ladyships, you may see the end; for the best is
yet to do; and here, where you are, they are coming
to perform it.
I will tell you about the beginning, and if you find it interesting,
you can see the end, which is the best
part. In fact, they are coming here to finish the match.
Well, the beginning, that is dead and buried.
Well the beginning is over with, it’s dead and buried.
There comes an old man and his three sons,--
An old man came with his three sons–
I could match this beginning with an old tale.
This sounds like the beginning of an old folk tale.
Three proper young men, of excellent growth and presence.
Three good and right young men, big and strong, with a commanding presence.
With bills on their necks, 'Be it known unto all men
by these presents.'
With signs around their necks that say, “Let it be known to everyone
by these presents.’
The eldest of the three wrestled with Charles, the
duke's wrestler; which Charles in a moment threw him
and broke three of his ribs, that there is little
hope of life in him: so he served the second, and
so the third. Yonder they lie; the poor old man,
their father, making such pitiful dole over them
that all the beholders take his part with weeping.
The oldest brother wrestled with Charles, the
duke’s own wrestler, and Charles immediately threw him
and broke three of his ribs. It is doubtful that
he will survive. He did the same to the second and
to the third brother. They are lying over there, and their poor old father
is crying so loudly and sadly over them
that everyone watching in the audience is grieving as well.
But what is the sport, monsieur, that the ladies
So what is the fun part, sir, that you say the ladies have missed?
Why, this that I speak of.
Why, what I just said.
Thus men may grow wiser every day: it is the first
time that ever I heard breaking of ribs was sport
Men must be getting smarter every day, since this is the first
time I have ever heard someone call broken ribs a fun sport
for ladies to see.
Or I, I promise thee.
Me too, I promise.
But is there any else longs to see this broken music
in his sides? is there yet another dotes upon
rib-breaking? Shall we see this wrestling, cousin?
But who else longs to hear the noise of breath
pushed through broken ribs? And who but us would love to see
ribs being broken? Can we see the wrestling, cousin Celia?
You must, if you stay here; for here is the place
appointed for the wrestling, and they are ready to
You will if you stay here, since this is where
they will finish the wrestling, and they are ready
to keep going.
Yonder, sure, they are coming: let us now stay and see it.
Yes – they are coming from over there. We should stay and watch.
Flourish. Enter DUKE FREDERICK, Lords, ORLANDO, CHARLES, and Attendants
Come on: since the youth will not be entreated, his
own peril on his forwardness.
Come on, then. Since this young man won’t listen to pleas to stop, he
risks his own life from his hardheadedness.
Is yonder the man?
Is that the man?
Even he, madam.
Yes it is, madam.
Alas, he is too young! yet he looks successfully.
Oh, but he is too young! But he looks like he can handle himself well.
How now, daughter and cousin! are you crept hither
to see the wrestling?
Daughter and niece, what are you doing here? Have you come
to see the wrestling?
Ay, my liege, so please you give us leave.
Yes, my liege, and please allow us to watch.
You will take little delight in it, I can tell you;
there is such odds in the man. In pity of the
challenger's youth I would fain dissuade him, but he
will not be entreated. Speak to him, ladies; see if
you can move him.
You will not enjoy it much, to be honest:
the odds are greatly against this young man. Out of sadness
for his youth, I have tried to persuade him against fighting, but he
will not listen. Ladies, speak to him and see if
you can get him to give up.
Call him hither, good Monsieur Le Beau.
Call him to us, good Mister Le Beau.
Do so: I'll not be by.
Yes, and I will leave you alone to talk.
Monsieur the challenger, the princesses call for you.
Mister challenger, the princesses have called to talk to you.
I attend them with all respect and duty.
I come to them with my respect and obedience.
Young man, have you challenged Charles the wrestler?
Young man, have you really challenged Charles, the duke’s professional wrestler?
No, fair princess; he is the general challenger: I
come but in, as others do, to try with him the
strength of my youth.
No, beautiful princess, he is the general challenger. I,
like many others, come up against him to test
my young strength.
Young gentleman, your spirits are too bold for your
years. You have seen cruel proof of this man's
strength: if you saw yourself with your eyes or
knew yourself with your judgment, the fear of your
adventure would counsel you to a more equal
enterprise. We pray you, for your own sake, to
embrace your own safety and give over this attempt.
Young man, you are too bold for your
age. You have already seen the awful effects of this wrestler’s
strength. You need to look at yourself,
or know yourself honestly; then the proper fear
of this plan will teach you to look for
a less dangerous adventure. We beg you, for your sake,
do the safe thing and give up this attempt to fight.
Do, young sir; your reputation shall not therefore
be misprised: we will make it our suit to the duke
that the wrestling might not go forward.
Yes, do that, young sir. We will even make sure your reputation does not
suffer by taking it upon ourselves to request the duke
to cancel the wrestling match.
I beseech you, punish me not with your hard
thoughts; wherein I confess me much guilty, to deny
so fair and excellent ladies any thing. But let
your fair eyes and gentle wishes go with me to my
trial: wherein if I be foiled, there is but one
shamed that was never gracious; if killed, but one
dead that was willing to be so: I shall do my
friends no wrong, for I have none to lament me, the
world no injury, for in it I have nothing; only in
the world I fill up a place, which may be better
supplied when I have made it empty.
Please do not punish me with your hard
honesty. I confess that I would be very guilt to deny
either of you beautiful ladies anything, but I would rather
your beautiful eyes and good wishes follow me to
the match. If I am beaten there, then only I
get the shame, and I wasn’t thought well of anyway. But if I am killed,
then the one who dies was willing to die. I am not doing
my friends anything wrong, since I do not have friends to cry for me,
and I am not harming the world because I have nothing in the world –
I only take up space, which might be better
filled when I am out of it.
The little strength that I have, I would it were with you.
I wish that the little strength I have goes with you.
And mine, to eke out hers.
Mine as well, to join with hers.
Fare you well: pray heaven I be deceived in you!
Good luck, and I pray that I am wrong about your chances!
Your heart's desires be with you!
May whatever you desire be with you!
Come, where is this young gallant that is so
desirous to lie with his mother earth?
Come on, where is that young playboy who
wants to be buried and sleep with Mother Earth?
Ready, sir; but his will hath in it a more modest working.
I am ready, sir – but I am aspiring to more modest things.
You shall try but one fall.
You get only one round.
No, I warrant your grace, you shall not entreat him
to a second, that have so mightily persuaded him
from a first.
I promise your grace, you won’t have to beg him
to fight in a second round, even though you couldn’t keep him
from a first round.
You mean to mock me after, you should not have
mocked me before: but come your ways.
You should be mocking me after the fight, not
before, but whatever you want.
Now Hercules be thy speed, young man!
Be as fast as Hercules, young man!
I would I were invisible, to catch the strong
fellow by the leg.
I wish I was invisible so that I could grab onto Charles by the leg.
O excellent young man!
What an excellent young man!
If I had a thunderbolt in mine eye, I can tell who
If I could shoot thunderbolts from my eyes, I can tell you who
would be thrown down.
Shout. CHARLES is thrown
No more, no more.
No more, stop.
Yes, I beseech your grace: I am not yet well breathed.
Please, I beg you, your Grace, let us continue: I’m not yet out of breath.
How dost thou, Charles?
And how are you doing, Charles?
He cannot speak, my lord.
He can’t speak, my lord.
Bear him away. What is thy name, young man?
Carry him away. What is your name, young man?
Orlando, my liege; the youngest son of Sir Rowland de Boys.
Orlando, my liege, the youngest son of Sire Rowland de Boys.
I would thou hadst been son to some man else:
The world esteem'd thy father honourable,
But I did find him still mine enemy:
Thou shouldst have better pleased me with this deed,
Hadst thou descended from another house.
But fare thee well; thou art a gallant youth:
I would thou hadst told me of another father.
I wish you had been someone else’s son.
The world held your father as very honorable,
but I still considered him my enemy.
Your victory would have please me more
if you were from a different family.
Still, I wish you well. You are a brave young man
and I only wish you had told me you had another father.
Exeunt DUKE FREDERICK, train, and LE BEAU
Were I my father, coz, would I do this?
Cousin, would I do this if I were my father?
I am more proud to be Sir Rowland's son,
His youngest son; and would not change that calling,
To be adopted heir to Frederick.
I am proud to be Sir Rowland’s
youngest son, and would not change that
even to become Frederick’s adopted heir.
My father loved Sir Rowland as his soul,
And all the world was of my father's mind:
Had I before known this young man his son,
I should have given him tears unto entreaties,
Ere he should thus have ventured.
My father loved Sir Rowland as much as his own soul,
and everyone else shared his opinion.
If I had known beforehand that he were his son,
I would have begged him with tears
not to go on with his plans.
Let us go thank him and encourage him:
My father's rough and envious disposition
Sticks me at heart. Sir, you have well deserved:
If you do keep your promises in love
But justly, as you have exceeded all promise,
Your mistress shall be happy.
let’s go thank him and encourage him –
my father’s jealous meanness
upsets me. Sir, you did very well in the match,
and if you are able to love
like that, even better than how others think you can,
then your wife will be very happy.
Giving him a chain from her neck
Wear this for me, one out of suits with fortune,
That could give more, but that her hand lacks means.
Shall we go, coz?
Where this necklace for me, someone who has been unlucky
and thus cannot give you anything greater.
Shall we leave, cousin?
Ay. Fare you well, fair gentleman.
Yes. Best of luck to you, fair gentleman.
Can I not say, I thank you? My better parts
Are all thrown down, and that which here stands up
Is but a quintain, a mere lifeless block.
I can’t even say thank you? Really? All of my best parts, like my ability to speak,
are back on the wrestling mat. The only thing left, which stands here
is a dummy, a lifeless stone.
He calls us back: my pride fell with my fortunes;
I'll ask him what he would. Did you call, sir?
Sir, you have wrestled well and overthrown
More than your enemies.
He is calling towards us to come back. My luck fell, and like it my pride did too.
I’ll ask him what he wanted. Did you call to us, sir?
Sir, you have fought well, and you have conquered
more than your enemies.
Will you go, coz?
Can we go now, cousin?
Have with you. Fare you well.
Fine, fine. Good luck, sir.
Exeunt ROSALIND and CELIA
What passion hangs these weights upon my tongue?
I cannot speak to her, yet she urged conference.
O poor Orlando, thou art overthrown!
Or Charles or something weaker masters thee.
What are these passionate feelings that are blocking my tongue?
I can’t seem to say anything to her, and she even sought to talk to me.
O poor me! I have been conquered!
Either Charles or else something weaker and prettier has overcome me.
Re-enter LE BEAU
Good sir, I do in friendship counsel you
To leave this place. Albeit you have deserved
High commendation, true applause and love,
Yet such is now the duke's condition
That he misconstrues all that you have done.
The duke is humorous; what he is indeed,
More suits you to conceive than I to speak of.
Sir, in friendship I advise you
to leave this place. While it is true that you have deserved
high praise, applause, and love,
the duke is now of a strange mood
and he misconstrues your actions.
He is very moody, and I’m sure
you can imagine what I mean without me putting words to it.
I thank you, sir: and, pray you, tell me this:
Which of the two was daughter of the duke
That here was at the wrestling?
Thank you sir, and please, tell me:
which girl is the duke’s daughter
of the two who were at the match?
Neither his daughter, if we judge by manners;
But yet indeed the lesser is his daughter
The other is daughter to the banish'd duke,
And here detain'd by her usurping uncle,
To keep his daughter company; whose loves
Are dearer than the natural bond of sisters.
But I can tell you that of late this duke
Hath ta'en displeasure 'gainst his gentle niece,
Grounded upon no other argument
But that the people praise her for her virtues
And pity her for her good father's sake;
And, on my life, his malice 'gainst the lady
Will suddenly break forth. Sir, fare you well:
Hereafter, in a better world than this,
I shall desire more love and knowledge of you.
If you are judging by their manners, neither –
but in fact the smaller one is the duke’s daughter,
and the other is the daughter of the banished duke,
kept here by her uncle after usurping the throne
to keep his daughter company. Their love
is stronger than the natural bond of sisters.
But lately, the duke
has become displeased with his niece
for no other reason
than the fact that she is praised by everyone for her virtues,
and pitied for the sake of her good father.
I swear on my life, his ill will towards her
will become manifest soon. Sir, best of luck to you.
Some time later, in a better world than this one,
I would like to get to know you better.
I rest much bounden to you: fare you well.
Exit LE BEAU
Thus must I from the smoke into the smother;
From tyrant duke unto a tyrant brother:
But heavenly Rosalind!
I owe you much, Goodbye.
So I must go from the smoke to the fire –
from the tyrant duke to his tyrant brother.
But heavenly Rosalind!