As You Like It Act V, Scenes 2 and 3
by William Shakespeare

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Act V, Scenes 2 and 3

Orlando has learned that Oliver has fallen in love with Aliena at first sight. He is incredulous at the news, but Oliver assures his brother that his love is genuine and asks for his permission to marry. He tells Orlando that after he is married he plans to give him their father's house "and all the revenue that was old Sir Rowland's." Furthermore, Oliver plans to "here live and die a shepherd." Orlando grants his consent. He tells Oliver that the wedding will take place the next day and bids him to invite the Duke and his followers.

Rosalind enters, still disguised as Ganymede. After she exchanges greetings with Oliver he departs. She tells Orlando that she had been distressed to hear of the wounds he suffered in his battle with the lioness, but Orlando is more worried about his romantic affairs. Rosalind remarks upon Oliver and Aliena's love for each other and predicts a happy marriage. Orlando replies that he is sad to "look into happiness through another man's eyes," for his own romantic situation seems far less promising.

Rosalind asks if she couldn't again serve as Orlando's Rosalind on the day of the wedding. But Orlando answers that he can "no longer live by thinking." Rosalind assures him that she has a solution to his problem. Since the age of three, she comments, she has "conversed with a magician" who has taught her the secrets of his art. She promises that when Oliver marries Aliena, Orlando will marry his Rosalind as well. She pledges to produce the real Rosalind the next day. Orlando is skeptical, but Ganymede reaffirms "his" promise and tells Orlando to dress in his best clothes and invite his friends to his own wedding.

Silvius and Phebe enter, and Phebe promptly criticizes Ganymede for showing her letter to Silvius. Rosalind tells her that it was her intention to be "despiteful and ungentle." She remarks that Silvius is a faithful shepherd and tells Phebe to love him, for he worships her. Silvius again declares his love for Phebe, but the shepherdess protests that she is in love with Ganymede. Orlando then proclaims his love for Rosalind. With Phebe's infatuation in mind, Rosalind announces that she is "for no woman." The lovers repeat their declarations until finally Rosalind wearies of their sighing: "Pray you, no more of this; 'tis like the howling of Irish wolves against the moon." She pledges to help Silvius if she can; she tells Phebe that she would love her if she could and requests a meeting the next day, promising, "I will marry you if ever I marry a woman, and I'll be married tomorrow." To Orlando, she remarks that she will satisfy him if ever she satisfied a man; she assures him that he will be married the next day. She also promises Silvius that he will be married at the same time.

In Scene 3, Touchstone announces to Audrey that they, too, will be: married on the morrow. Two Pages enter, and Touchstone requests a song. The Pages respond by singing "It was a Lover and his Lass," a...

(The entire section is 788 words.)