Act 3 Summary

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Last Updated February 7, 2023.

Scene 1

Duke Frederick summons Oliver and orders him to find Orlando and bring him back to the court, dead or alive. If he does not do so, Frederick will seize his property. 

Scene 2

Back in the Forest of Arden, Orlando shows his love for Rosalind by writing sentimental poems about her and posting them on the trees. Touchstone and Corin are comparing court life with life in the forest, with Touchstone praising the former, when Rosalind enters, reading one of Orlando’s poems which she has found attached to a tree. Touchstone clumsily imitates the poem and insults its quality, annoying Rosalind. 

Celia then enters, reading another poem she has found on a tree and, when Touchstone and Corin have left, tells Rosalind that she knows the identity of the poet: Orlando. 

Orlando himself then enters, and Rosalind (who is still disguised as Ganymede) talks to him about the poems. Orlando admits that he is the author, and Rosalind suggests a cure for his infatuation. Orlando can pretend that Ganymede is his beloved, and he (or she, that is) will repulse him with coldness and shallowness.

Scene 3

Touchstone has fallen in love with a beautiful but dim-witted goatherd named Audrey and has asked Sir Oliver Martext, a clergyman from a nearby village, to join them in marriage. However, Jaques persuades him that the wedding should take place in a church, not in the forest. 

 Scene 4

In another part of the forest, Rosalind complains to Celia about her disappointment that Orlando did not meet her that morning, as he had said he would. Corin enters and asks them to come and watch Silvius attempting to win over Phebe with his protestations of love.

Scene 5

As Silvius woos Pheve, she is scornful and hard-hearted, an attitude which moves Rosalind (still as Ganymede) to intercede on Silvius’s behalf. Ganymede cuttingly says that Phebe is not beautiful enough to put on such airs and is lucky to have such a suitor as Silvius. Phoebe prefers Ganymede’s scorn to Silvius’s flattery, and immediately decides that she is in love with “him.”

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Act 2 Summary


Act 4 Summary