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As You Like It

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ACT V  SCENE II The forest. 
ORLANDOIs't possible that on so little acquaintance you
should like her? that but seeing you should love
her? and loving woo? and, wooing, she should
grant? and will you persever to enjoy her?
OLIVERNeither call the giddiness of it in question, the
poverty of her, the small acquaintance, my sudden
wooing, nor her sudden consenting; but say with me,
I love Aliena; say with her that she loves me;
consent with both that we may enjoy each other: it
shall be to your good; for my father's house and all
the revenue that was old Sir Rowland's will I
estate upon you, and here live and die a shepherd.12
ORLANDOYou have my consent. Let your wedding be to-morrow:
thither will I invite the duke and all's contented
followers. Go you and prepare Aliena; for look
you, here comes my Rosalind.
ROSALINDGod save you, brother.
OLIVERAnd you, fair sister.
ROSALINDO, my dear Orlando, how it grieves me to see thee
wear thy heart in a scarf!20
ORLANDOIt is my arm.
ROSALINDI thought thy heart had been wounded with the claws
of a lion.
ORLANDOWounded it is, but with the eyes of a lady.
ROSALINDDid your brother tell you how I counterfeited to
swoon when he showed me your handkerchief?
ORLANDOAy, and greater wonders than that.
ROSALINDO, I know where you are: nay, 'tis true: there was
never any thing so sudden but the fight of two rams
and Caesar's thrasonical brag of 'I came, saw, and30
overcame:' for your brother and my sister no sooner
met but they looked, no sooner looked but they
loved, no sooner loved but they sighed, no sooner
sighed but they asked one another the reason, no
sooner knew the reason but they sought the remedy;
and in these degrees have they made a pair of stairs
to marriage which they will climb incontinent, or
else be incontinent before marriage: they are in
the very wrath of love and they will together; clubs
cannot part them.
ORLANDOThey shall be married to-morrow, and I will bid the40
duke to the nuptial. But, O, how bitter a thing it
is to look into happiness through another man's
eyes! By so much the more shall I to-morrow be at
the height of heart-heaviness, by how much I shall
think my brother happy in having what he wishes for.

ROSALINDWhy then, to-morrow I cannot serve your turn for Rosalind?
ORLANDOI can live no longer by thinking.
ROSALINDI will weary you then no longer with idle talking.
Know of me then, for now I speak to some purpose,
that I know you are a gentleman of good conceit: I
speak not this that you should bear a good opinion
of my knowledge, insomuch I say I know you are;
neither do I labour for a greater esteem than may in
some little measure draw a belief from you, to do55
yourself good and not to grace me. Believe then, if
you please, that I can do strange things: I have,
since I was three year old, conversed with a
magician, most profound in his art and yet not
damnable. If you do love Rosalind so near the heart
as your gesture cries it out, when your brother60
marries Aliena, shall you marry her: I know into
what straits of fortune she is driven; and it is
not impossible to me, if it appear not inconvenient
to you, to set her before your eyes tomorrow human
as she is and without any danger.
ORLANDOSpeakest thou in sober meanings?
ROSALINDBy my life, I do; which I tender dearly, though I
say I am a magician. Therefore, put you in your
best array: bid your friends; for if you will be
married to-morrow, you shall, and to Rosalind, if you will.70
Look, here comes a lover of mine and a lover of hers.
PHEBEYouth, you have done me much ungentleness,
To show the letter that I writ to you.
ROSALINDI care not if I have: it is my study
To seem despiteful and ungentle to you:
You are there followed by a faithful shepherd;
Look upon him, love him; he worships you.
PHEBEGood shepherd, tell this youth what 'tis to love.
SILVIUSIt is to be all made of sighs and tears;
And so am I for Phebe.80
PHEBEAnd I for Ganymede.
ORLANDOAnd I for Rosalind.
ROSALINDAnd I for no woman.
SILVIUSIt is to be all made of faith and service;
And so am I for Phebe.
PHEBEAnd I for Ganymede.
ORLANDOAnd I for Rosalind.
ROSALINDAnd I for no woman.
SILVIUSIt is to be all made of fantasy,
All made of passion and all made of wishes,90
All adoration, duty, and observance,
All humbleness, all patience and impatience,
All purity, all trial, all observance;
And so am I for Phebe.
PHEBEAnd so am I for Ganymede.
ORLANDOAnd so am I for Rosalind.
ROSALINDAnd so am I for no woman.
PHEBEIf this be so, why blame you me to love you?
SILVIUSIf this be so, why blame you me to love you?
ORLANDOIf this be so, why blame you me to love you?100
ROSALINDWho do you speak to, 'Why blame you me to love you?'
ORLANDOTo her that is not here, nor doth not hear.
ROSALINDPray you, no more of this; 'tis like the howling
of Irish wolves against the moon.
I will help you, if I can:
I would love you, if I could. To-morrow meet me all together.
I will marry you, if ever I marry woman, and I'll be
married to-morrow:
I will satisfy you, if ever I satisfied man, and you
shall be married to-morrow:
I will content you, if what pleases you contents
you, and you shall be married to-morrow.
As you love Rosalind, meet:
as you love Phebe, meet: and as I love no woman,
I'll meet. So fare you well: I have left you commands.115
SILVIUSI'll not fail, if I live.

Next: As You Like It, Act 5, Scene 3

Explanatory notes for Act 5, Scene 2
From As You Like It. Ed. Samuel Thurber, Jr. and Louise Wetherbee. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1922.
(Line numbers have been altered.)

This is a preparatory scene for the denouement in Scene 4. Another sudden love affair does not surprise us, as we expect it in Arden.

Line 4. perséver: always spelled and accented like this in Shakespeare's time.

5. Perhaps the suddenness of this love-making may be the explanation of Oliver's conversion.

8. Why should the older brother ask the younger's consent?

11. What about the claims of the other brother?

17. Why brother and sister here?

20. heart: Does Rosalind use the word purposely?

27. greater wonders: Does Orlando suggest that Oliver has told him of his suspicions as to the identity of this Ganymede? Rosalind certainly seizes the reins of the conversation quickly.

30. thrasonical: boastful. I ... overcame: a translation of Caesar's famous message after the defeat of Pharnaces at Zela. The message in Latin is familiar: "Veni, vidi, vici," and Shakespeare seems fond of it, for he has used it more than once. In fact Julius Caesar is evidently one of his favorite characters.

37. incontinent: immediately.

38. clubs: "In any public affray the cry was Clubs! Clubs! by way of calling for persons with clubs to part the combatants." Our policemen still carry clubs, sometimes called billies.

51. conceit: intelligence.

53. insomuch: since.

56. grace me: gain me credit.

59. damnable: not to be condemned to the punishment which was then dealt to those practicing magic.

60. gesture: bearing.

63. inconvenient: disagreeable.

67. tender dearly: hold dear. Of course, she means that she was risking her life by calling herself a magician.

Enter Silvius and Phebe. With the entrance of the lovers, verse begins again.

72. ungentleness: unkindness.

89. fantasy: imagination. A beautiful description of love.

93. The repetition of observance suggests that it got into the folio texts by some oversight. Numerous other readings for the word have been suggested of which obedience seems as good as any.

103. howling ... moon: There were wolves in Ireland long after they disappeared from England. Everything Irish interested the English of Shakespeare's time. The scene ends with gratifying anticipation on the part of everyone including the audience.


1. Is there anything here that seems unreal?

2. Explain Oliver's humble mood.

3. How much has Celia told Oliver? Discuss the possibility.

4. Does Orlando know his Rosalind now? Discuss the question.

5. Is there any difference between the Rosalind alone with Orlando and the one with Celia present?

6. Does she show any tenderness?

7. Picture the scene when Silvius describes love.

8. How is it saved from absurdity?

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) < >.


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