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Act V, Scene 1

New Character
William: a simpleminded young man

Touchstone asks Audrey to be patient; he assures her that their marriage will indeed take place. Audrey argues that Sir Oliver Martext was good enough to perform the ceremony, but Touchstone disparages the cleric and moves on to another topic, remarking that there is a youth in the forest who "lays claim" to Audrey. However Audrey, interested only in marrying her urbane man of the court, protests that her supposed suitor "hath no interest in me in the world."

William, an unsophisticated young man of twenty-five, enters. As soon as Touchstone sees his potential rival, he decides to have some fun at his expense. He questions William about his background and inquires as to whether he loves Audrey. William replies that he does. Touchstone officiously asks William if he is "learned." When William replies that he is not, Touchstone launches into an absurd flight of rhetoric that "proves" his right to wed Audrey. The dumbfounded William fails to comprehend.

Touchstone then asserts his claim to the country goatherd in plainer language. He tells William to abandon his courtship,...

(The entire section is 367 words.)