What is the relationship between Adam and Orlando in Act 2, Scene 3?

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Adam is a faithful servant to Orlando’s family, as devoted to Orlando as he had been to Sir Rowland de Buys (Orlando's father). His view of the servant’s role differs somewhat from that of Orlando, as the much younger man can envision a more equitable relationship. Importantly, in this scene, Adam rescues Orlando and thus proves his devotion.

As scene 3 begins, Adam functions as Orlando’s savior. As they stand outside Orlando’s house, Adam urges Orlando not to enter and fight the burly wrestler as he had planned. He warns Orlando that his brother intends him harm:

this night he means
To burn the lodging where you use to lie
And you within it: if he fail of that,
He will have other means to cut you off . . .
this house is but a butchery:
Abhor it, fear it, do not enter it.

Urging Orlando to flee, he first offers him his life savings of 500 crown. Adam then offers to accompany him and to serve him as he had served his father: “let me go with you; / I'll do the service of a younger man / In all your business and necessities.”

Orlando praises him for embodying the old spirit of service, in which people were motivated by duty rather than by money. But at the same time, he implicitly criticizes the “antique world” that expected such behavior, calling it “a rotten tree.” While he accepts Adam’s offer to travel with him, he seems to endorse a more companionable arrangement: “We’ll go along together" and try to find a way to survive before having to depend on Adam’s savings.

Adam, for his part, seems set in the servant’s role: “I will follow thee, / To the last gasp, with truth and loyalty.” Given Orlando’s youth and his own old age, he reflects that “fortune cannot recompense me better / Than to die well and not my master's debtor.”

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Adam is devoted to Orlando because of the young man's good nature and resemblance to old Sir Rowland, father of both Orlando and his brother Oliver whom Adam despises. Adam warns Orlando that Oliver has plans to murder him and offers to lend him five hundred crowns, his life's savings, in order to flee from his brother's home immediately. Adam asks to be taken with him and promises to serve him faithfully in spite of his advanced age of eighty. Orlando appreciates the old man's devotion and long years of service to his family. He proves this when they arrive at the Forest of Arden by attacking Duke Senior and his followers single-handed in Act 2, Scene 7 and demanding food to take back to Adam, who was unable to go any farther. The two men represent the traditional relationship between master and servant which is going out of fashion. Orlando is a major character in the play. Adam is a minor character who serves mainly to allow for dialogue that will inform and audience of important information and advance the plot.

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