"A Holiday Humour"
Context: Passionately in love with each other, Rosalind and Orlando have never spoken to each other of their love. Both are now in the Forest of Arden, where Rosalind is in disguise as a young man named Ganymede. Orlando does not see through her disguise, and Rosalind wittily takes advantage of the situation. She offers to pose as Rosalind, so that Orlando may know what he is in for. Thus, thinking he is making love to a proxy, Orlando actually woos the genuine Rosalind, who, indeed in a holiday humor, may jest as she pleases. When Orlando is late to a meeting, she tells him she would rather be wooed by a snail, who "brings his destiny with him," that is, the horns the cuckold is proverbially supposed to wear. To Rosalind's vast satisfaction, Orlando replies that "virtue is no horn-maker; and my Rosalind is virtuous." The jest continues:
ROSALINDCome, woo me, woo me; for now I am in a holiday humour, and like enough to consent. What would you say to me now, an I were your very, very Rosalind?ORLANDOI would kiss before I spoke.ROSALINDNay, you were better speak first, and when you were gravelled for lack of matter, you might take occasion to kiss.. . .
"A Motley Fool"
Context: This play is generally felt to be Shakespeare's most nearly perfect romantic comedy. Duke Senior and his followers are living in Arden forest because Frederick, the Duke's brother, has usurped the throne. Now the Duke, with Amiens, a lord attending on him, and other lords are searching in the forest for Jaques, a melancholic lord who also attends on Duke Senior. The character of Jaques is revealed in the following dialogue between himself and Duke Senior, when the former appears in the forest.
DUKE SENIORWhy how now monsieur, what a life is this,That your poor friends must woo your company.What, you look merrily.JAQUESA fool, a fool! I met a fool i' th' forest,A motley fool–a miserable world–As I do live by food, I met a fool,Who laid him down and basked him in the sun,And railed on Lady Fortune in good terms,In good set terms, and yet a motley fool.. . .
"All The World's A Stage"
Context: Duke Senior, in the Forest of Arden with his lords Jaques, Amiens, and others, is about to eat when they are interrupted by the entrance of Orlando, who has been driven from his home by his greedy oldest brother. Orlando demands and is given food, but he will not eat until he summons his "old poor man" Adam. At his departure, Duke Senior remarks, "This wide and universal theatre/ Presents more woeful pageants than the scene/ Wherein we play in." Jaques then responds with his justly famous speech. The idea of the world's being a stage was common in Shakespeare's time. Du Bartas (Divine Weekes and Workes, 1578, First Week, First Day) had said that "The World's a stage, where God's omnipotence,/ His justice, knowledge, love, and providence/ Do act the parts." Thomas Heywood, in his Apology for Actors (1612), and Thomas Middleton, A Game of Chess (1624, Act V, sc. i) used the same idea.
JAQUESAll the world's a stage,And all the men and women merely players.They have their exits and their entrances,And one man in his time plays many parts,His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.. . .And then the lover,Sighing like a furnace, with a woeful balladMade to his mistress' eyebrow. . . .
"An Ill-favoured Thing Sir, But Mine Own"
Context: The Forest of Arden provides refuge to an exiled Duke of France and his followers; to the daughter of the Duke, Rosalind (disguised as the shepherd lad Ganymede) and her cousin and friend, Celia (disguised as the shepherdess Aliena); to Orlando and his cruel brother, Oliver; and to the clown, Touchstone , as well as to a number of native inhabitants of the area. From a general state of confusion, a reconciliation is effected: Rosalind, revealing herself to her father, plans to wed Orlando; Celia intends to marry his repentant brother Oliver; the little shepherdess, Phebe, is reconciled to the love-sick shepherd, Silvius; and even the clown Touchstone, addressing the Duke, announces his intention to...
(The entire section is 5,951 words.)