What is the importance of Act III, Scene 2 in As You Like It?

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kplhardison's profile pic

Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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Act III, Scene 2 of As You Like It is very important because it is a pivotal scene that has thematic importance, action importance, and character importance. First, in 3.2 the thematic focus shifts from pure devoted women's love, as between sisters, as represented by Celia and Rosalind to romantic love as represented by Rosalind and Orlando. It also has thematic importance because Corin and Touchstone debate the virtues of court life and pastoral country life (Corin seems to win...).

The scene is important to the action of the play because it is in 3.2 that Shakespeare sets up the silly teasing joke that Rosalind/Ganymede plays on poor lovesick Orlando that comprises the major action of the rest of the play and sets up to the marriages in the resolution. The scene has character importance because important traits, thoughts and feelings are revealed about the characters of Orlando and Rosalind. In addition:
1.  Orlando displays his poetry.
2.  Rosalind learns of Orlando's presence in Arden forest.
3.  Orlando reveals the depths of his love for Rosalind.
4.  Rosalind learns of Orlando's love by eavesdropping.

nusratfarah's profile pic

nusratfarah | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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In Shakespeare's famous pastoral romantic comedy As You Like It, the second scene of the third act is a noteworthy one.

The major point is that, from this scene the process begins; the process of transforming Orlando into a real man, a true lover from a lovesick young guy. The Forest of Arden seems to metamorphoses other characters like Oliver or Duke Francis who enter the forest supernaturally, but in case of Orlando, it is Ganymede’s clever tests and trials which help the gradual development of Orlando’s personality. And this procedure starts from this particular scene, when Orlando is asked by Ganymede: “come everyday to... woo me”. Orlando, thus, is not only going to be healed, his character is also going to be flourished. This is the most notable significance of the scene.

Another important action which takes place is the argument between Touchstone and Corin regarding the comparison between the courtly life and country life. Both Touchstone and Corin give their reasons, and both are correct from their own points of view. But, it is interesting to find out that while arguing against the pastoral life, Touchstone unwillingly depicts the advantages of the country life, and vice versa. Here, obvious contrasting images of the country and the courtly life are portrayed through the conversation.

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