As You Like It Act III, Scenes 1 and 2
by William Shakespeare

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Act III, Scenes 1 and 2

At the palace, Duke Frederick commands Oliver to find Orlando and bring him in, dead or alive, within a year. If Oliver fails to do so, his property and goods will be forfeited. Oliver tells Duke Frederick, "I never loved my brother in my life." "More villain thou," Duke Frederick replies. He orders his men to forcibly remove Oliver from the palace and commands that a writ of seizure be placed on Oliver's house and lands.

In Scene 2, we return to the Forest of Arden. Orlando, obsessed by his love for Rosalind, writes poems to her and hangs them on trees. After he resolves to carve the name of his beloved on every tree in the forest, he exits.

Corin and Touchstone enter, and Corin asks Touchstone how he likes the shepherd's life. Touchstone replies with a witty series of contradictions. Although he finds some elements of country life appealing, he misses the liveliness of the court and its good manners. Corin tells him bluntly that courtly manners would be out of place in the country. The formal kissing of hands, he comments, would be inappropriate when the hands of shepherds are greasy from handling their sheep. Corin praises the virtues of his simple life as a shepherd, and Touchstone responds with a series of bawdy jests that satirize the shepherd's calling.

Their conversation is interrupted when Rosalind enters in her Ganymede disguise, reading aloud a love poem she has found on a tree: "From the east to western Ind/ No jewel is like Rosalind." Touchstone, unimpressed by the "false gallop" of the verses, promptly invents a parody of the poem. He concludes with yet another bawdy jest. Celia happens upon the scene, reading aloud another love poem about Rosalind.

Celia sends Touchstone and Corin away, and she and Rosalind discuss the poems. Rosalind is critical of their style and literary merit, and she is at a loss to identify their author. When Celia finally tells her, after teasing her for her dullness, that the author can only be Orlando, Rosalind is incredulous. She is ecstatic to learn that Orlando has arrived in the forest, but she wonders how her masculine disguise might complicate matters. 'Alas the day! " she remarks. "What shall I do with my doublet and hose?" She queries Celia for any bit of news about Orlando.

Their discussion is interrupted by the entrance of Orlando and Jaques. Rosalind and Celia stand aside and eavesdrop on their conversation. Jaques has taken a cynical view of Orlando's romantic infatuation and urges him to "mar no more trees" with his poems, telling him: "The worst fault you have is to be in love." Orlando proclaims that "'Tis a fault I will not change for your best virtue." Jaques retorts by telling Orlando, "I was looking for a fool when I found you." Orlando chides him by commenting that if it is a fool he is seeking, he can look in the brook, for there he will see his own reflection. They exchange parting shots, and Jaques exits.

Rosalind, in an aside to Celia, resolves to speak to Orlando "like a saucy lackey and under that habit play the knave with him." She steps forward and addresses the young man, who does not recognize her in her Ganymede disguise. They banter lightheartedly about time and love. Rosalind cautions Orlando that love is a disease that is best cured. She tells him that "There is a man haunts the forest that abuses our young plants with carving 'Rosalind' on their barks, hangs odes on hawthorns, and elegies on brambles... If I could meet that fancy-monger, I would give him some good counsel." Orlando confesses that "I am he that is so love-shaked" and asks for her remedy. Rosalind wittily catalogues the physical symptoms of a man in love, and she remarks that Orlando seems to have none of them. Orlando protests that he is indeed in love, but Rosalind tells him that "love is merely a madness" and proposes "curing it." She tells him she has, in the past, cured a lovelorn swain of his "mad humor" by impersonating his fickle mistress, "full of tears" one minute, "full of smiles" the...

(The entire section is 1,869 words.)