Why does Touchstone marry Audrey in As You Like It?

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accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This is rather a baffling question. In Act III scene 3, when Touchstone tries to marry Audrey as quickly as possible, he calls her a "slut," recognising that she has had many relationships before, and also identifies that she will probably be unfaithful to him after their marriage. However, nonetheless, he continues to press ahead, trying to get married as soon as possible. From what we can infer, it appears as if his own lust seems to be acting here. However, overall, we can identify that the marriage between Touchstone and Audrey acts as a kind of anti-Romantic coupling that acts as a foil to the other relationships in the play. Their marriage is a travesty of romantic love and marriage, and the way in which Touchstone uses his education and language to further his lustful advances on Audrey stands in direct contrast to the relationship between Rosalind and Orlando.

roopaksrinivasan's profile pic

roopaksrinivasan | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

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the marriage between them is basically a contract. Audrey is attracted by courtly manners and as soon as she meets Touchstone she finds her way to court and decides to marry him. Touchstone on the other hand marries her for female company. The love affair of Touchstone and Audrey is prosaic. It serves as a foil to romantic love in the play. Others in the play fall in love at first sight with beauty; but Touchstone takes a fancy to ugliness. Audrey represents the peasant class of women. Though Touchstone and Audrey also get married at the end of the play they are not in love with each other. Their marriage is like a contract where each one gains something from the other.

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