List iconAs You Like ItList icon

As You Like It
Act 1, scene 1

Synopsis:

Contents

Characters in the Play

Entire Play

In As You Like It, witty words and romance play out against the disputes of divided pairs of brothers. Orlando’s older…

Act 1, scene 1

Orlando demands that his elder brother Oliver give him part of the money left by their father. Oliver decides to…

Act 1, scene 2

Orlando wins the wrestling match and, at the same time, wins the heart of Rosalind, daughter of the legitimate duke,…

Act 1, scene 3

Duke Frederick suddenly decides to banish Rosalind. His daughter Celia, determined to go with Rosalind into exile, suggests that they…

Act 2, scene 1

In the Forest of Arden, the banished duke (Duke Senior) and the courtiers who share his exile discuss their life…

Act 2, scene 2

Duke Frederick, discovering Celia’s disappearance, suspects Orlando. He sends servants to bring Orlando to court.

Act 2, scene 3

Orlando learns from Adam, an old servant, that Oliver plans to kill Orlando. Adam and Orlando decide to go in…

Act 2, scene 4

Rosalind, Celia, and Touchstone reach the Forest of Arden. Rosalind is in disguise as a boy named Ganymede and Celia…

Act 2, scene 5

Amiens’ song celebrating life in the woods is mocked by Jaques’ parody of the song.

Act 2, scene 6

Orlando leaves Adam, near starvation, under a tree and goes off determined to find food.

Act 2, scene 7

As Duke Senior and his companions sit down to eat, Orlando enters, demanding food. Welcomed by the duke, he brings…

Act 3, scene 1

Duke Frederick gives Oliver one year to produce Orlando. In the interim, he seizes Oliver’s lands.

Act 3, scene 2

Orlando hangs poems in praise of Rosalind on trees in the forest, where Rosalind and Celia find them. In disguise…

Act 3, scene 3

Touchstone, desiring a goat-keeper named Audrey, has arranged for a country priest to marry them in the woods. Jaques persuades…

Act 3, scene 4

Corin invites “Ganymede” and “Aliena” to observe the lovelorn Silvius as Silvius courts the disdainful Phoebe.

Act 3, scene 5

“Ganymede” intervenes to try to help Silvius prevail over Phoebe and win her love. Instead, Phoebe falls in love with…

Act 4, scene 1

Rosalind, as Ganymede, pretends to be Rosalind while Orlando courts her. With Celia as priest, they go through the beginning…

Act 4, scene 2

Duke Senior’s courtiers celebrate their having killed a deer.

Act 4, scene 3

Phoebe sends “Ganymede” a letter offering herself in marriage. As Rosalind and Celia wait for Orlando, they learn that he…

Act 5, scene 1

Touchstone verbally overpowers William, a rival for Audrey’s love.

Act 5, scene 2

Orlando, envious that his brother Oliver and “Aliena,” having fallen in love, plan to be married immediately, tells “Ganymede” how…

Act 5, scene 3

Touchstone and Audrey listen while two pages sing.

Act 5, scene 4

In the presence of Duke Senior and his lords, “Ganymede” reminds Orlando, Silvius, and Phoebe of their promises. “He” and…

Act 5, epilogue

Include links to:

Images
Glosses
Audio
Video
Essays
Quill icon
Scene 1
Enter Orlando and Adam.

ORLANDO As I remember, Adam, it was upon this
 fashion bequeathed me by will but poor a thousand
 crowns, and, as thou sayst, charged my brother on
 his blessing to breed me well. And there begins my
5 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
10 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
15 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
20 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
7

9
As You Like It
ACT 1. SC. 1

 longer endure it, though yet I know no wise remedy
25 how to avoid it.

Enter Oliver.

ADAM Yonder comes my master, your brother.
ORLANDO Go apart, Adam, and thou shalt hear how he
 will shake me up.Adam steps aside.
OLIVER Now, sir, what make you here?
ORLANDO 30Nothing. I am not taught to make anything.
OLIVER What mar you then, sir?
ORLANDO Marry, sir, I am helping you to mar that
 which God made, a poor unworthy brother of
 yours, with idleness.
OLIVER 35Marry, sir, be better employed, and be naught
 awhile.
ORLANDO Shall I keep your hogs and eat husks with
 them? What prodigal portion have I spent that I
 should come to such penury?
OLIVER 40Know you where you are, sir?
ORLANDO O, sir, very well: here in your orchard.
OLIVER Know you before whom, sir?
ORLANDO Ay, better than him I am before knows me. I
 know you are my eldest brother, and in the gentle
45 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
50 confess your coming before me is nearer to his
 reverence.
OLIVER, threatening Orlando What, boy!
ORLANDO, holding off Oliver by the throat Come,
 come, elder brother, you are too young in this.
OLIVER 55Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain?
ORLANDO I am no villain. I am the youngest son of Sir

11
As You Like It
ACT 1. SC. 1

 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
60 hand from thy throat till this other had pulled out
 thy tongue for saying so. Thou hast railed on thyself.
ADAM, coming forward Sweet masters, be patient. For
 your father’s remembrance, be at accord.
OLIVER, to Orlando Let me go, I say.
ORLANDO 65I 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 gentlemanlike
 qualities. The spirit of my father grows strong in
70 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.
Orlando releases Oliver.
OLIVER And what wilt thou do—beg when that is
75 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.
ORLANDO I will no further offend you than becomes
 me for my good.
OLIVER, to Adam 80Get you with him, you old dog.
ADAM 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.
Orlando and Adam exit.
OLIVER Is it even so? Begin you to grow upon me? I
85 will physic your rankness, and yet give no thousand
 crowns neither.—Holla, Dennis!

Enter Dennis.

DENNIS Calls your Worship?

13
As You Like It
ACT 1. SC. 1

OLIVER Was not Charles, the Duke’s wrestler, here to
 speak with me?
DENNIS 90So please you, he is here at the door and
 importunes access to you.
OLIVER Call him in. Dennis exits. ’Twill be a good
 way, and tomorrow the wrestling is.

Enter Charles.

CHARLES Good morrow to your Worship.
OLIVER 95Good Monsieur Charles, what’s the new news
 at the new court?
CHARLES 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
100 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.
OLIVER Can you tell if Rosalind, the Duke’s daughter,
105 be banished with her father?
CHARLES 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
110 less beloved of her uncle than his own daughter,
 and never two ladies loved as they do.
OLIVER Where will the old duke live?
CHARLES They say he is already in the Forest of Arden,
 and a many merry men with him; and there they
115 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.
OLIVER What, you wrestle tomorrow before the new
120 duke?

15
As You Like It
ACT 1. SC. 1

CHARLES 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
125 fall. Tomorrow, 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 honor if he come in.
130 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.
OLIVER 135Charles, 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 labored to dissuade him
 from it; but he is resolute. I’ll tell thee, Charles, it is
140 the stubbornest young fellow of France, full of
 ambition, an envious emulator of every man’s good
 parts, a secret and villainous contriver against me
 his natural brother. Therefore use thy discretion. I
 had as lief thou didst break his neck as his finger.
145 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 practice against thee by
 poison, entrap thee by some treacherous device,
 and never leave thee till he hath ta’en thy life by
150 some indirect means or other. For I assure thee—
 and almost with tears I speak it—there is not one so
 young and so villainous 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
155 look pale and wonder.
CHARLES I am heartily glad I came hither to you. If he

17
As You Like It
ACT 1. SC. 2

 come tomorrow, 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.
OLIVER 160Farewell, good Charles.Charles exits.
 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
165 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
 misprized. But it shall not be so long; this wrestler
 shall clear all. Nothing remains but that I kindle the
170 boy thither, which now I’ll go about.
He exits.