Explain the plan that Rosalind has for all couples in the forest in Act V. What are the final pairings, and how does she make it work?

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Rosalind asks Silvius, Phebe, and Orlando to meet her in the forest so that she can reveal her true identity. In this way, she can help Silvius win Phebe, while also managing to rebuff Phebe (who will then choose Silvius, her former lover, and who is madly in love with her), and, finally, win Orlando, who will realize she is the Lady Rosalind, and not the boy Ganymede. She makes this pan appealing to everyone involved because she cleverly appeals to what they all want, promising them their heart's desire if they meet her at the appointed time. This sort of revelatory scene was an important conceit used in Shakespeare's comedies, particularly when there are characters who are posing in disguise or playing at being another gender.

This is the primary speech leading up to the revelation of her plan:

ROSALIND:

Pray you, no more of this; 'tis like the howling
of Irish wolves against the moon.

 

To SILVIUS

I will help you, if I can:

To PHEBE

I would love you, if I could. To-morrow meet me all together.

To PHEBE

I will marry you, if ever I marry woman, and I'll be
married to-morrow:

To ORLANDO

I will satisfy you, if ever I satisfied man, and you
shall be married to-morrow:

To SILVIUS

I will content you, if what pleases you contents
you, and you shall be married to-morrow.

To ORLANDO

As you love Rosalind, meet:

To SILVIUS

as you love Phebe, meet: and as I love no woman,
I'll meet. So fare you well: I have left you commands.

Read the study guide:
As You Like It

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