What is Touchstone's importance in the play As You Like It and how does he brings humor in the play?all his qualities, examples with the help of extracts etc

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sensei918 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Touchstone, like all of the various fools in Shakespeare's plays is an important character for several reasons. The fool has a powerful voice; he can say anything that comes into his mind, because he has permission. His job is to keep the ruler down to earth. Those in power, whom others fear because of that power, need to have someone in their lives to remind them that they are human too. This is the traditional job of the fool, or jester, if you will. Touchstone is such a character. He can mock anyone and he will not experience any repercussions, so we, in turn, can mock the royalty as well.

He is a "touchstone" for humor in two different ways in the play. When he is stuck in the court of Frederick the usurper, along with Rosalind, after the real Duke has been banished, he plays the idiot, so that others may feel funnier and wittier by contrast.  Once he is in the Forest of Arden, however, he returns to his own clever self, adding humor to an already light-hearted play through his puns and bawdy sayings.  He is well-named in that he really is a touchstone for the feelings and attitudes of those around him, at court and in the more romantic pastoral setting of the forest.