Too much of a good thing
Then love me, Rosalind.
Yes, faith, will I, Fridays and Saturdays and all.
And wilt thou have me?
Ay, and twenty such.
What sayest thou?
Are you not good?
I hope so.
Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing?
Of all the supposed bawdy puns in Shakespeare's work, this one's
authentic. "Thing" was a common enough euphemism for either male or
female genitalia, and the context here is certainly suggestive.
Having used "too much of a good thing" in all innocence, you might
find its original connotation embarrassing.
The indecency of this exchange may also surprise you once you
know that Rosalind and Orlando are the quintessential
comic-romantic lovebirds, whose goodness and purity are never
challenged. The reason Rosalind can speak this way is very
complicated, but, briefly put, she's dessed up as a young man and,
when she encounters her lover Orlando in the Forest of Arden, she
decides to withhold her true identify from him. Yes, you say, but
Orlando calls her "Rosalind" here. True, but that's because
Rosalind, in the guise of the young man Ganymede, is "pretending"
to be Rosalind so that she can train Orlando in courtship and teach
him what women are "really" like. Through such play-acting,
Rosalind may probe Orlando's intentions, and at the same time put
his idealistic notions of courtly lovemaking to the test. She takes
on the role of the comic dramatist, scripting a fantasy version of
courtship in order to explore and expose its workings.