Explanatory notes for Act 2, Scene 4
From As You Like It. Ed. Samuel Thurber, Jr. and Louise Wetherbee. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1922.
(Line numbers have been altered.)
The arrival of the girls and Touchstone and the finding of other lovers in this forest entertain us. Rosalind now takes
command, as is fitting for "doublet and hose."
Line 1. O Jupiter: Evidently an oath is a necessary accompaniment to doublet and hose. Of course Rosalind is really
in a weary mood, but she must comfort Celia, who is exhausted.
2. Any pathos in this scene is abruptly discouraged by Touchstone.
4. Rosalind makes her complaint as an aside. What are
Celia and Touchstone doing?
6. doublet and hose: coat and breeches, but the coat fitted the body closely and the skirts of it came below the waistline.
It was called doublet because it was made of double material with padding between. Hose now means stocking, but then
included stockings and breeches.
7. What action accompanies Rosalind's words of encouragement?
11. cross: English coins often had a cross upon them which
gives Touchstone his opportunity. The saying "cross the palm" comes from this custom. How about the casket of jewels?
29. fantasy: love.
43. hard adventure: unfortunately.
44. Again Touchstone breaks in at the right moment to relieve the scene. Note the personifying of stone and peascod,
which shows the vividness of his imagination.
47. batlet: a wooden bat for beating the clothes while they were being washed. chopt: chopped.
48. peascod: A pea-pod with nine peas was always put on
the shelf by a kitchen-maid, as she believed that the first man
who entered would be her lover. An old proverb read: "Wintertime for shoeing, peascod time for wooing."
49. cods: peas.
60. weeping tears: Certainly emphatic.
52. capers: actions.
53. mortal in folly: very foolish.
54. ware: aware.
66. be ware: beware.
57. Evidently two lines from an old song. Touchstone's ballad has lost its sweetness.
63. clown: a country bumpkin according to Touchstone's
71. faints for succor: for want of succor.
75. fleeces: sheep. What figure of speech? graze: feed.
77. recks: cares.
79. cote: cottage as in sheepcote in the next line.
84. What is he: who is he.
90. This suggestion comes with Celia's usual thoughtfulness.
91. waste: spend.
95. feeder: shepherd.
1. Describe the entrance of the three. How do they show
that they are weary? Is there anything comic?
2. Which girl is the leader now? Why?
3. Touchstone, you remember, is Shakespeare's own. What
does he add to the scene?
4. Describe the dress of the girls.
5. At what two places in the scene does Touchstone deliberately imitate Rosalind?
6. Why did Shakespeare introduce the two shepherds? Describe them.
7. Why does he make our first glimpse of the sighing lover so
8. Can you suggest Touchstone's expression during the lover's
9. Why is Touchstone so rude to Corin? What effect does
Rosalind's courtesy have ?
10. Why do they make no inquiry for the banished Duke?
How to cite the explanatory notes:
Shakespeare, William. As You Like It. Eds. Samuel Thurber, Jr. and Louise Wetherbee. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1922. Shakespeare Online. 10 Aug. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/asu_2_4.html >.