What is Touchstone's function in "As You Like It"?

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To put it simply, Touchstone is a clown. One may also call him, as Rosalind does in his first entrance, a "fool." Shakespearean clowns served to provide comic relief in Shakespeare's tragedies, and in his comedies, such as *As You Like It,* they served to set a light, comedic tone. Touchstone does this, like many of Shakespeare's clowns, by engaging in witty exchanges with the "serious" characters with a mock show of wisdom. He does so with puns, such as that in which he mocks a certain knight who swears "by his honor, [though] he never had any..."

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