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As You Like It

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As You Like It (a Later Festive Comedy)

In this play, Duke Frederick (the younger duke) usurps his older brother, Duke Senior, and banishes him to the Forest of Arden. Frederick goes on to banish Duke Senior's daughter Rosalind. Frederick's daughter, Celia (Rosalind's cousin) flees her evil father with Rosalind and they head (along with Touchstone, the clown) to the Forest of Arden. Before leaving, though, Rosalind falls in love with Orlando and he with her after he beats Charles in a wrestling match. Orlando, the younger son of Sir Rowland, had rebelled at being kept a virtual prisoner by his older brother, Oliver. Duke Frederick and Oliver had hoped that Charles would kill or cripple Orlando in the match, but Orlando managed to throw and injure Charles. Soon after, Orlando flees his older brother, Oliver, after their servant Adam warns Orlando of Oliver's plans to kill him. Orlando and Adam also flee to the Forest of Arden. Duke Frederick, upon finding Celia, Rosalind, and Orlando missing, orders Oliver to find them, or face banishment himself.

In the Forest, the cousins, disguised as Ganymede (a male) and Aliena, and the clown Touchstone purchase a shepherd's hut, a flock, and a pasture from two shepherds, Corin and Silvius. In another part of the forest, the banished Duke Senior discusses the philosophizing of his melancholy courier Jaques, who is even more mad and morose than usual due to the singing of another courtier, Amiens. When Duke Senior meets him, however, Jaques is now merry, having met the clever fool, Touchstone, in the forest. Meanwhile, Orlando has been desperately searching for food, and, with a drawn sword, he enters Duke Senior's banqueting place and demands food. However, Duke Senior greets Orlando with unexpected kindness and welcomes him and Adam to his camp.

Orlando, knowing that Rosalind is somewhere in the forest, wanders through the forest hanging love verses to Rosalind upon the branches of trees. Rosalind finds the verses, and, pretending to be a male (Ganymede), she talks at length with Orlando about his true love, Rosalind. As Ganymede, she offers to pose as Rosalind and to allow Orlando to practice his wooing with her. Meanwhile, Touchstone is planning his own romance with Audrey (a sheepherder), though a commoner named William also seeks Audrey until Touchstone scares him off. "Ganymede" witnesses the love affair of Phebe and Silvius, two shepherds; Phebe treats Silvius coldly and "Ganymede" chides her for it, but Phebe instantly falls in love with "Ganymede", thinking Rosalind is a he. After "Ganymede" leaves, Phebe decides that she will write a love letter to "him" and have Silvius deliver it.

Silvius delivers the letter, and Rosalind decides that she will remedy the situation and help Silvius get Phebe by eventually revealing that "Ganymede" is a she. The exiled Oliver finds "Ganymede" and tells "him" that, while sleeping in the forest, he was saved from the attack of a lioness by his brother Orlando. Orlando was wounded and asked Oliver to bring a bloody napkin as proof of the fight and as explanation for missing his appointment with "Ganymede". "Ganymede" faints, then pretends that she was faking, though Oliver comes to realize that "Ganymede" is really Rosalind.

Orlando and Oliver are now reconciled, and Oliver tells his brother that he has fallen in love with "Aliena", the disguised Celia. They will be married the next day. Orlando returns to "Ganymede", still not knowing it is Rosalind because Oliver keeps her secret. He laments that he cannot marry his Rosalind tomorrow, but "Ganymede" promises to make it possible via magic. At the wedding, "Ganymede" reveals that "he" is actually Rosalind, causing Orlando to rejoice. Additionally, Phebe is forced to marry Silvius since she can no longer marry "Ganymede". Now, Hymen, the god of marriage, marries Orlando and Rosalind, Oliver and Celia, Silvius and Phebe, & Touchstone and Audrey. After the wedding, Jaques de Boys (a new Jaques), a long lost brother of Oliver and Orlando arrives with the news that Duke Frederick was converted to good by an old religious man, and has requested that all of the banished people return home and have their estates back. Lastly, Rosalind recites an epilogue, requesting the audience enjoy the play as much as they please, and not more. Note that this play included the famous line "All's the world's a stage", spoken by the Jaques (II,vii,140), in addition to the text for the song "Blow, Blow, Though Winter Wind" (II,vii,174).

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Act 1, Scene I
Enter ORLANDO and ADAM ORLANDO As I remember, Adam, it was upon this fashion bequeathed me by will but poor a thousand crowns, and, as thou sayest, charged my brother, on his blessing, to breed me well: and there begins my sadness. My brother Jaques he keeps at school, and report speaks goldenly of his profit: for my part, he keeps me rustically at home, or, to speak more properly, stays me here at home unkept; for call you that keeping for a gentleman of my birth, that differs not from the stalling of an ox? His horses are bred better; for, besides that they are fair with their feeding, they are taught their manage, and to that end riders dearly hired: but I, his brother, gain nothing under him but growth; for the which his animals on his dunghills are as much bound to him as I. Besides this nothing that he so plentifully gives me, the something that nature gave me his countenance seems to take from me: he lets me feed with his hinds, bars me the place of a brother, and, as much as in him lies, mines my gentility with my education. This is it, Adam, that grieves me; and the spirit of my father, which I think is within me, begins to mutiny against this servitude: I will no longer endure it, though yet I know no wise remedy how to avoid it. ADAM Yonder comes my master, your brother. ORLANDO Go apart, Adam, and thou shalt hear how he will shake me up. Enter OLIVER OLIVER Now, sir! what make you here? ORLANDO Nothing: I am not taught to make any thing. OLIVER What mar you then, sir? ORLANDO Marry, sir, I am helping you to mar that which God made, a poor unworthy brother of yours, with idleness. OLIVER Marry, sir, be better employed, and be naught awhile. ORLANDO Shall I keep your hogs and eat husks with them? What prodigal portion have I spent, that I should come to such penury? OLIVER Know you where your are, sir? ORLANDO O, sir, very well; here in your orchard. OLIVER Know you before whom, sir? ORLANDO Ay, better than him I am before knows me. I know you are my eldest brother; and, in the gentle condition of blood, you should so know me. The courtesy of nations allows you my better, in that you are the first-born; but the same tradition takes not away my blood, were there twenty brothers betwixt us: I have as much of my father in me as you; albeit, I confess, your coming before me is nearer to his reverence. OLIVER What, boy! ORLANDO Come, come, elder brother, you are too young in this. OLIVER Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain? ORLANDO I am no villain; I am the youngest son of Sir Rowland de Boys; he was my father, and he is thrice a villain that says such a father begot villains. Wert thou not my brother, I would not take this hand from thy throat till this other had pulled out thy tongue for saying so: thou hast railed on thyself. ADAM Sweet masters, be patient: for your father's remembrance, be at accord. OLIVER Let me go, I say. ORLANDO I will not, till I please: you shall hear me. My father charged you in his will to give me good education: you have trained me like a peasant, obscuring and hiding from me all gentleman-like qualities. The spirit of my father grows strong in me, and I will no longer endure it: therefore allow me such exercises as may become a gentleman, or give me the poor allottery my father left me by testament; with that I will go buy my fortunes. OLIVER And what wilt thou do? beg, when that is spent? Well, sir, get you in: I will not long be troubled with you; you shall have some part of your will: I pray you, leave me. ORLANDO I will no further offend you than becomes me for my good. OLIVER Get you with him, you old dog. ADAM Is 'old dog' my reward? Most true, I have lost my teeth in your service. God be with my old master! he would not have spoke such a word. Exeunt ORLANDO and ADAM OLIVER Is it even so? begin you to grow upon me? I will physic your rankness, and yet give no thousand crowns neither. Holla, Dennis! Enter DENNIS DENNIS Calls your worship? OLIVER Was not Charles, the duke's wrestler, here to speak with me? DENNIS So please you, he is here at the door and importunes access to you. OLIVER Call him in. Exit DENNIS 'Twill be a good way; and to-morrow the wrestling is. Enter CHARLES CHARLES Good morrow to your worship. OLIVER Good Monsieur Charles, what's the new news at the new court? CHARLES There's no news at the court, sir, but the old news: that is, the old duke is banished by his younger brother the new duke; and three or four loving lords have put themselves into voluntary exile with him, whose lands and revenues enrich the new duke; therefore he gives them good leave to wander. OLIVER Can you tell if Rosalind, the duke's daughter, be banished with her father? CHARLES O, no; for the duke's daughter, her cousin, so loves her, being ever from their cradles bred together, that she would have followed her exile, or have died to stay behind her. She is at the court, and no less beloved of her uncle than his own daughter; and never two ladies loved as they do. OLIVER Where will the old duke live? CHARLES They say he is already in the forest of Arden, and a many merry men with him; and there they live like the old Robin Hood of England: they say many young gentlemen flock to him every day, and fleet the time carelessly, as they did in the golden world. OLIVER What, you wrestle to-morrow before the new duke? CHARLES Marry, do I, sir; and I came to acquaint you with a matter. I am given, sir, secretly to understand that your younger brother Orlando hath a disposition to come in disguised against me to try a fall. To-morrow, sir, I wrestle for my credit; and he that escapes me without some broken limb shall acquit him well. Your brother is but young and tender; and, for your love, I would be loath to foil him, as I must, for my own honour, if he come in: therefore, out of my love to you, I came hither to acquaint you withal, that either you might stay him from his intendment or brook such disgrace well as he shall run into, in that it is a thing of his own search and altogether against my will. OLIVER Charles, I thank thee for thy love to me, which thou shalt find I will most kindly requite. I had myself notice of my brother's purpose herein and have by underhand means laboured to dissuade him from it, but he is resolute. I'll tell thee, Charles: it is the stubbornest young fellow of France, full of ambition, an envious emulator of every man's good parts, a secret and villanous contriver against me his natural brother: therefore use thy discretion; I had as lief thou didst break his neck as his finger. And thou wert best look to't; for if thou dost him any slight disgrace or if he do not mightily grace himself on thee, he will practise against thee by poison, entrap thee by some treacherous device and never leave thee till he hath ta'en thy life by some indirect means or other; for, I assure thee, and almost with tears I speak it, there is not one so young and so villanous this day living. I speak but brotherly of him; but should I anatomize him to thee as he is, I must blush and weep and thou must look pale and wonder. CHARLES I am heartily glad I came hither to you. If he come to-morrow, I'll give him his payment: if ever he go alone again, I'll never wrestle for prize more: and so God keep your worship! OLIVER Farewell, good Charles. Exit CHARLES Now will I stir this gamester: I hope I shall see an end of him; for my soul, yet I know not why, hates nothing more than he. Yet he's gentle, never schooled and yet learned, full of noble device, of all sorts enchantingly beloved, and indeed so much in the heart of the world, and especially of my own people, who best know him, that I am altogether misprised: but it shall not be so long; this wrestler shall clear all: nothing remains but that I k****e the boy thither; which now I'll go about.

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