As You Like It

OrlandoAs I remember, Adam, it was upon thisfashion bequeathed me by will but poor a thousandcrowns, and, as thou sayst, charged my brother onhis blessing to breed me well. And there begins mysadness. My brother Jaques he keeps at school, andreport speaks goldenly of his profit. For my part, hekeeps me rustically at home, or, to speak moreproperly, stays me here at home unkept; for call youthat “keeping” for a gentleman of my birth, thatdiffers not from the stalling of an ox? His horses arebred better, for, besides that they are fair with theirfeeding, they are taught their manage and, to thatend, riders dearly hired. But I, his brother, gainnothing under him but growth, for the which hisanimals on his dunghills are as much bound to himas I. Besides this nothing that he so plentifully givesme, the something that nature gave me his countenanceseems to take from me. He lets me feed withhis hinds, bars me the place of a brother, and, asmuch as in him lies, mines my gentility with myeducation. This is it, Adam, that grieves me, and thespirit of my father, which I think is within me,begins to mutiny against this servitude. I will nolonger endure it, though yet I know no wise remedyhow to avoid it. What he complains about:the sense of disparagement that Oliverdisparage: to neglect someone’s status, of their nobilityexists as a ward, someone under Oliver’s authorityward dedicated to children whose parents who passed awayhaving education is one sign of being able to take care of one’s estatesomeone – make money of it; if individualsgo to a court and get a writ of idiocycontinue abusing the system of wardship – what Orlando complains: that he is not getting any education, even though he has his father’s nobility and his spiritcontrol the estatethe kind of Aaron – complicates responses to such figuresirredeemable in some sense – to move the plot forwardgenerational ambiguityfather figureWrestling scene
CHARLES Come, where is this young gallant that is sodesirous to lie with his mother Earth?ORLANDO Ready, sir; but his will hath in it a moremodest working. Charles accusing Orlando modest in what I want to doto assert his own identity in the face of that would efface ithalf the population – under the age of 20how many of these youths would be out there
ROSALINDCome, woo me, woo me, for now I am in a holidayhumour and like enough to consent. What would yousay to me now, an I were your very very Rosalind?ORLANDOI would kiss before I spoke.ROSALINDNay, you were better speak first, and when you weregravelled for lack of matter, you might takeoccasion to kiss. Very good orators, when they areout, they will spit; and for lovers lacking–Godwarn us!–matter, the cleanliest shift is to kiss.ORLANDOHow if the kiss be denied?ROSALINDThen she puts you to entreaty, and there begins new matter.ORLANDOWho could be out, being before his beloved mistress?ROSALINDMarry, that should you, if I were your mistress, orI should think my honesty ranker than my wit.ORLANDOWhat, of my suit?ROSALINDNot out of your apparel, and yet out of your suit.Am not I your Rosalind?Take this chance to woo me seriouslyORLANDOI take some joy to say you are, because I would betalking of her.ROSALINDWell in her person I say I will not have you.ORLANDOThen in mine own person I die.ROSALINDNo, faith, die by attorney. The poor world isalmost six thousand years old, and in all this timethere was not any man died in his own person,videlicit, in a love-cause. Troilus had his brainsdashed out with a Grecian club; yet he did what hecould to die before, and he is one of the patternsof love. Leander, he would have lived many a fairyear, though Hero had turned nun, if it had not beenfor a hot midsummer night; for, good youth, he wentbut forth to wash him in the Hellespont and beingtaken with the cramp was drowned and the foolishcoroners of that age found it was ‘Hero of Sestos.’But these are all lies: men have died from time totime and worms have eaten them, but not for love. Telling Orlando to put his feet on the ground-defaced all the trees with this crappy love poetry-that’s not what Rosalind wants, she wants it to be at the same level (cut the crap)-love the way you love, not the way the culture has instructed you to love-she wants something authentic• Shakespeare seems to be revelling in this idea that playing and acting is the vector through which we can achieve that authenticity, is a bit of a paradox.
JAQUESBut, for the seventh cause; how did you find thequarrel on the seventh cause?TOUCHSTONEUpon a lie seven times removed:–bear your body moreseeming, Audrey:–as thus, sir. I did dislike thecut of a certain courtier’s beard: he sent me word,if I said his beard was not cut well, he was in themind it was: this is called the Retort Courteous.If I sent him word again ‘it was not well cut,’ hewould send me word, he cut it to please himself:this is called the Quip Modest. If again ‘it wasnot well cut,’ he disabled my judgment: this iscalled the Reply Churlish. If again ‘it was notwell cut,’ he would answer, I spake not true: thisis called the Reproof Valiant. If again ‘it was notwell cut,’ he would say I lied: this is called theCounter-cheque Quarrelsome: and so to the LieCircumstantial and the Lie Direct.There are all these degrees of getting to this pointJAQUESAnd how oft did you say his beard was not well cut?TOUCHSTONEI durst go no further than the Lie Circumstantial,nor he durst not give me the Lie Direct; and so wemeasured swords and parted.JAQUESCan you nominate in order now the degrees of the lie?TOUCHSTONEO sir, we quarrel in print, by the book; as you havebooks for good manners: I will name you the degrees.The first, the Retort Courteous; the second, theQuip Modest; the third, the Reply Churlish; thefourth, the Reproof Valiant; the fifth, theCountercheque Quarrelsome; the sixth, the Lie withCircumstance; the seventh, the Lie Direct. Allthese you may avoid but the Lie Direct; and you mayavoid that too, with an If. I knew when sevenjustices could not take up a quarrel, but when theparties were met themselves, one of them thought butof an If, as, ‘If you said so, then I said so;’ andthey shook hands and swore brothers. Your If is theonly peacemaker; much virtue in If. “If”-occurs in this play more than any other-occurs in the final moments of the play more than anywhere else in the play-a hypothetical/conditional-not necessarily true-condition of all of us as we watch these plays, much virtue in “if”-much virtue in what Rosalind is doing -condition of entertaining possibility -that is the condition of the circumstance of representation in all of Shakespeare’s theatre (an fictional literature in general)As this fight reaches the point of actual violence, one of them has the option of the back door of saying “If you say this, I say this”• As this quarrel reaches more to the point of actual violence, one of them always have the option of saying “if you said that, I said this” • The word “if” occurs in this play more than any other Shakespeare, and occurs in the final moments more than it occurs anywhere else in this play. It is a hypothetical, a condition, the condition of all of us as we watch these plays. Much virtue in what Shakespeare does for a living, much virtue in what Rosalind is doing here. The condition of entertaining possibility, and that is the condition of the circumstance of representation in all of Shakespeare’s work. In Act V, scene iv, Touchstone delivers an account of a recent argument he has had. His anatomy of the quarrel, as this speech might be called, is a deftly comic moment that skewers all behavior that is “by the book,” whether it be rules for engaging an enemy or a lover (V.iv.81). The end of the speech, in which Touchstone turns his attentions to the powers of the word “if,” is particularly fine and fitting. “If” points to the potential of events in possible worlds. “If” allows slights to be forgiven, wounds to be salved, and promising opportunities to be taken. Notably, within a dozen lines of this speech, Duke Senior, Orlando, and Phoebe each usher in a new stage of life with a simple sentence that begins with that simple word.
Now, my co-mates and brothers in exile,Hath not old custom made this life more sweetThan that of painted pomp? Are not these woodsMore free from peril than the envious court?Here feel we not the penalty of Adam,The seasons’ difference, as the icy fangAnd churlish chiding of the winter’s wind,Which when it bites and blows upon my bodyEven till I shrink with cold, I smile, and say’This is no flattery. These are counsellorsThat feelingly persuade me what I am.’Sweet are the uses of adversityWhich, like the toad, ugly and venomous,Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;And this our life, exempt from public haunt,Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,Sermons in stones, and good in everything. (II.i.1-17) These lines, spoken by Duke Senior upon his introduction in Act II, scene i, establish the pastoral mode of the play. With great economy, Shakespeare draws a dividing line between the “painted pomp” of court—with perils great enough to drive the duke and his followers into exile—and the safe and restorative Forest of Ardenne (II.i.3). The woods are romanticized, as they typically are in pastoral literature, and the mood is set for the remainder of the play. Although perils may present themselves, they remain distant, and, in the end, there truly is “good in everything” (II.i.17). This passage, more than any other in the play, presents the conceits of the pastoral mode. Here, the corruptions of life at court are left behind in order to learn the simple and valuable lessons of the country. Shakespeare highlights the educational, edifying, and enlightening nature of this foray into the woods by employing language that invokes the classroom, the library, and the church: in the trees, brooks, and stones surrounding him, the duke finds tongues, books, and sermons.
As I do live by food, I met a fool,Who laid him down and basked him in the sun,And railed on Lady Fortune in good terms,In good set terms, and yet a motley fool.’Good morrow, fool,’ quoth I. ‘No, sir,’ quoth he,’Call me not fool till heaven hath sent me fortune.’And then he drew a dial from his poke,And looking on it with lack-lustre eyeSays very wisely ‘It is ten o’clock.”Thus we may see’, quoth he, ‘how the world wags.’Tis but an hour ago since it was nine,And after one hour more ’twill be eleven.And so from hour to hour we ripe and ripe,And then from hour to hour we rot and rot;And thereby hangs a tale.’ (II.vii.14-28) In Act II, scene vii, melancholy Jaques displays an uncharacteristic burst of delight. While wandering through the forest, he relates, he met a fool, who entertained him with rather nihilistic musings on the passage of time and man’s life. According to Touchstone, time ensures nothing other than man’s own decay: “from hour to hour we rot and rot” (II.vii.27). That this speech appeals to Jaques says much about his character: he delights not only in the depressing, but also in the rancid. Practically all of Touchstone’s lines contain some bawdy innuendo, and these are no exception. Here, by punning the word “hour” with “*****,” he transforms the general notion of man’s decay into the unpleasant specifics of a man dying from venereal disease. Touchstone appropriately, if distastefully, confirms this hidden meaning by ending his speech with the words “thereby hangs a tale,” for tale was Elizabethan slang for penis (II.vii.28).
No, faith; die by attorney. The poor world is almost six thousand years old, and in all this time there was not any man died in his own person, videlicet, in a love-cause. Troilus had his brains dashed out with a Grecian club, yet he did what he could to die before, and he is one of the patterns of love. Leander, he would have lived many a fair year though Hero had turned nun if it had not been for a hot midsummer night, for, good youth, he went but forth to wash him in the Hellespont and, being taken with the cramp, was drowned; and the foolish chroniclers of that age found it was Hero of Sestos. But these are all lies. Men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love. (IV.i.81-92) In Act IV, scene i, Rosalind rejects Orlando’s claim that he would die if Rosalind should fail to return his love. Rosalind’s insistence that “[m]en have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love” is one of the most recognizable lines from the play and perhaps the wisest (IV.i.91-92). Here, Rosalind takes on one of the most dominant interpretations of romantic love, an understanding that is sustained by mythology and praised in literature, and insists on its unreality. She holds to the light the stories of Troilus and Leander, both immortal lovers, in order to expose their falsity. Men are, according to Rosalind, much more likely to die by being hit with a club or drowning than in a fatal case of heartbreak. Rosalind does not mean to deny the existence of love. On the contrary, she delights in loving Orlando. Instead, her criticism comes from an unwillingness to let affection cloud or warp her sense of reality. By casting aside the conventions of the standard—and usually tragic—romance, Rosalind advocates a kind of love that belongs and can survive in the real world that she inhabits.
It is not the fashion to see the lady the epilogue; but it is no more unhandsome than to see the lord the prologue. If it be true that good wine needs no bush, ’tis true that a good play needs no epilogue. Yet to good wine they do use good bushes, and good plays prove the better by the help of good epilogues. What a case am I in then, that am neither a good epilogue nor cannot insinuate with you in the behalf of a good play! I am not furnished like a beggar, therefore to beg will not become me. My way is to conjure you; and I’ll begin with the women. I charge you, O women, for the love you bear to men, to like as much of this play as please you. And I charge you, O men, for the love you bear to women—as I perceive by your simpering none of you hates them— that between you and the women the play may please. If I were a woman I would kiss as many of you as had beards that pleased me, complexions that liked me, and breaths that I defied not. And I am sure, as many as have good beards, or good faces, or sweet breaths will for my kind offer, when I make curtsy, bid me farewell. (Epilogue, 1-19). The Epilogue was a standard component of Elizabethan drama. One actor remains onstage after the play has ended to ask the audience for applause. As Rosalind herself notes, it is odd that she has been chosen to deliver the Epilogue, as that task is usually assigned to a male character. By the time she addresses the audience directly, Rosalind has discarded her Ganymede disguise. She is again a woman and has married a man. Although we may think the play of gender has come to an end with the fall of the curtain, we must remember that women were forbidden to perform onstage in Shakespeare’s England. Rosalind would have been played by a man, which further obscures the boundaries of gender. Rosalind emerges as a man who pretends to be a woman who pretends to be a man who pretends to be a woman to win the love of a man. When the actor solicits the approval of the men in the audience, he says, “If I were a woman I would kiss as many of you as had beards that pleased me”— returning us to the dizzying intermingling of homosexual and heterosexual affections that govern life in the Forest of Ardenne (Epilogue, 14-16). The theater, like Ardenne, is an escape from reality where the wonderful, sometimes overwhelmingcomplexities of human life can be witnessed, contemplated, enjoyed, and studied.
CORINAnd how like you this shepherd’s life, Master Touchstone?CORINAnd how are you liking the shepherd’s life, Master Touchstone?TOUCHSTONETruly, shepherd, in respect of itself, it is a good life; but in respect that it is a shepherd’s life, it is naught. In respect that it is solitary, I like it very well; but in respect that it is private, it is a very vile life. Now in respect it is in the fields, it pleaseth me well; but in respect it is not in the court, it is tedious. As it is a spare life, look you, it fits my humor well; but as there is no more plenty in it, it goes much against my stomach. Hast any philosophy in thee, shepherd? • This tension between the country and city goes back to the classical era, and projects into our own future as well – this tension between these two ways of living is something that endures• Get a sense of a relativism being brought up here, around line 39: Touchstone trying to prove to Corin that he is damned for only knowing one side of this, idea that there is an appropriateness for each situation, and you can equally weigh two things • Rosalind seems to have this understanding as well. Apparent in her experience as a young woman, then as she goes around disguised as Ganymede she gains all this experience and is able to reflect upon the privileges she experiences as a young man and is also critiquing her own sex as well – not only learning what it’s like to be the other sex, but also learning about her own sex in the process
ROSALIND[Aside to CELIA] I will speak to him, like a saucylackey and under that habit play the knave with him.Do you hear, forester?ORLANDOVery well: what would you?ROSALINDI pray you, what is’t o’clock?ORLANDOYou should ask me what time o’ day: there’s no clockin the forest.ROSALINDThen there is no true lover in the forest; elsesighing every minute and groaning every hour woulddetect the lazy foot of Time as well as a clock.ORLANDOAnd why not the swift foot of Time? had not thatbeen as proper?ROSALINDBy no means, sir: Time travels in divers paces withdivers persons. I’ll tell you who Time ambleswithal, who Time trots withal, who Time gallopswithal and who he stands still withal.ORLANDOI prithee, who doth he trot withal?ROSALINDMarry, he trots hard with a young maid between thecontract of her marriage and the day it issolemnized: if the interim be but a se’nnight,Time’s pace is so hard that it seems the length ofseven year.ORLANDOWho ambles Time withal?ROSALINDWith a priest that lacks Latin and a rich man thathath not the gout, for the one sleeps easily becausehe cannot study, and the other lives merrily becausehe feels no pain, the one lacking the burden of leanand wasteful learning, the other knowing no burdenof heavy tedious penury; these Time ambles withal.ORLANDOWho doth he gallop withal?ROSALINDWith a thief to the gallows, for though he go assoftly as foot can fall, he thinks himself too soon there.ORLANDOWho stays it still withal?ROSALINDWith lawyers in the vacation, for they sleep betweenterm and term and then they perceive not how Time moves. Act 3, Scene 2, ~line 272: one of these moments when the spell of Rosalind as Ganymede is in danger of breaking. Rosalind taking advantages of the technologies of time in the city, and Orlando says they don’t have clocks in the country – moment where Rosalind’s identity is in danger of showing through in her presentation as Ganymede • Leads into the discussion of the relativity of time as well – experience of the speed of time is different in different situations and to different people. We think of time as a constant, but another way of thinking about it is that it is something that is experienced in a certain way, sometimes it travels very quickly and sometimes appears to travel very slowly. • Idea of a constant motion is set up as a kind of an ideal that gets interrogated here
DUKE SENIORThou seest we are not all alone unhappy.This wide and universal theaterPresents more woeful pageants than the sceneWherein we play in. o Admission of a bit of sorrow in the ‘paradise’ of Ardeno Characters’ perspective on their experience indicate their emotion regarding the situation
– Antithetical groupings – sets of lovers • Middle: Rosalind and Orlando, represent a kind of middle way between lovers who are ultra-idealistic and lovers who are more realistic • Ultra idealistic: Silvius and Phoebe – Silvius so enamoured with Phoebe that he is unable to recognize that she doesn’t love him, and Phoebe is in love with Ganymede in a similar way. Is so idealistically in love with him that she fails to recognize that he is not who he says he is.• Ultra realistic: Touchstone and Audrey – do not have many illusions about each other, Audrey recognizes Touchstone as someone who can get her out of the country and into the court, and Touchstone sees his marriage to Audrey as a way of legitimizing his lust