What is the role of humour in As You Like It with special reference to Jaques and Touchstone?  

2 Answers

sensei918's profile pic

sensei918 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted on

Touchstone and Jacques represent two different kinds of humor in As You Like It. Touchstone is the duke's fool, which means he is allowed to say anything he wants to say and get away with it.  In fact, the fool, or clown, in Shakespeare's comedies, often has the best lines. One of the jobs of a jester in the days of kings and queens was to keep the monarch from getting  too big for his/her britches.  So Touchstone is very broad, bawdy humor, and is someone the lower classes can relate to.

Jacques, on the other hand, is just a fool. He has a rather jaded, silly outlook on life and is amusing without trying to be, rather than funny because it's his job to be. He does deliver the famous "All the world's a stage" speech, and thus, speaks directly for Shakespeare, but Jacques is more often the butt of the humor rather than its instigator.

The two characters, with their different approaches to the idea of what's funny, actually complement each other, and Sahkespeare plays them against one another's styles to comic effect.

zumri's profile pic

zumri | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

these two characters Jacques and touchstone are known as the wisefools of the play As you like it and an observant feature in these cahracters are that although Shakespear employs humour through these characters that is also witty and sarcastic for they speak of some reality ina witty manner through out the play Jaques is a drunkarn philosopher and Touchstone is a foolish scholar