Comment on the role of Touchstone in As You Like It.

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Touchstone has an unusual function and there is some continuing confusion about his character roles as both a (1) Shakespearean Fool and a (2) "touchstone." Along with these roles, he is the (3) companion to Rosalind/Ganymede and Celia/Aliena as they go to and dwell in Arden Forest.

Act I shows that, while Touchstone is the Duke's motley dressed Fool, he, Celia and Rosalind share an established bond of playful wit and friendship. He would not have accepted the role of traveling protector and companion if this bond had not been great, especially since, as we later learn, he dislikes rustic living.

    The more pity, that fools may not speak wisely what
    wise men do foolishly.

    By my troth, thou sayest true; for since the little
    wit that fools have was silenced, the little foolery
    that wise men have makes a great show.

A "touchstone" is a siliceous, semi-precious gemstone, often jasper, of minimal value of its own that identifies gold or silver...

(The entire section contains 499 words.)

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