What is a scene-by-scene summary of Act 2 of As You Like It?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

A summary of Act II of As You Like It, which covers each scene, is as follows.

Act II,
Scene I
An introduced to Duke Senior in the Forest of Arden, who is Rosalind's father.

Scene II
Duke Frederick is in an uproar that Celia has gone with Rosalind.

Scene III
Adam tells Orlando of Oliver's foul intentions and bids him flee to the Forest of Arden.

Scene IV
Rosalind and Celia and Touchstone reach the Forest of Arden and are exhausted. They encounter Corin and Silvius, a young and an old shepherd, respectively, in conversation about their perspectives on the nature of love. Celia and Rosalind converse about Rosalind's aching love for Orlando and talk with Corin.

Scene V
A scene between Amiens the minstrel and Jaques the melancholy forest exile that introduces a primary theme of As You Like in the song Amiens, and then Jaques, sings. The theme is the virtue of a pastoral life with birds' songs and food freshly gathered versus the "gross fools" who abandon the comforts of civilization for the forest.

Scene VI
Orlando and his faithful old servant Adam reach the Forest of Arden at the end of their flight from Oliver. Adam is weak, tired and hungry and apparently at death's door. Orlando takes him to shelter and swears to bring him food if there is anything alive in the forest (which explains why he barges into Duke Senior's camp later with an invitation to battle on his lips instead of with polite supplications--he needs food for Adam)

Scene VII
Jaques has just met Touchstone in the forest and he is now determined to become a courtier's fool in motley clothes so he can say whatever he wants to others with the intent of improving them, for fools have the privilege of speaking candidly in humorous witticisms without gaining the hearer's wrath at his direct remarks. Orlando charges into the Duke's camp with his sword drawn and demands food. He is offered food but states he sill not touch a drop until Adam has been fed. While the Duke's camp awaits the return of Orlando with Adam, Jaques delivers one on Shakespeare's most famous speeches explaining the stages of life in a conceit comparing life to the theatrical stage:

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.

Amiens sings another thematic song employing a weather conceit that says that betrayal and friendship forgotten are worse than the foul winter weather.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team